By Catherine MacLellan
Apparently there has been a recent influx of female singer-songwriters from Canada. Names like Kathleen Edwards and Julie Doiron don't exactly ring any bells for me, but joining them on that accomplished list is Catherine MacLellan, and her name could perhaps ring a (Church) Bell or two. She's the daughter of Canadian music legend Gene MacLellan who wrote massive international 70s hits, including 'Put Your Hand In The Hand' which was recorded by Elvis himself! She's got plenty of talent in her genes then.
While her influences are close to home, her talent is obviously unique. Her voice strikes you on the first listen and her song writing is compelling, taking ordinary situations and wrapping them in beauty. Whether it's the joy and delight of taking life slowly ('The Long Way Home') or driving through a picturesque winter landscape ('River Valley Plains') all her songs are definitely from the Canadian land, but are very much globally accessible. She's just concluded a 13-stop UK tour, where no doubt the album's focus on her voice and acoustic guitar was gifted to her audience. 'Church Bell Blues' is a gripping disc. One which graces the ears with a desirable outpouring of emotion, from a young artist who has a bright future.