Here's what folks are saying about Heather Bristow and 'Ragged Souls':
"Heather has now managed what I thought impossible: a brand new CD of original songs to equal those of her debut, showing again the versality of her writing, her lovely melodies, the beauty of her lead and harmony singing, and once again her utmost good taste."--Paul Brewer, The New Essex Bluegrass Band, UK.
"From Gospel to Bluegrass, love songs to social commentary, she writes with a heartfelt style. Put this recording in your player, put on a set of headphones, then sit back and listen. You're in for a treat."--John Lowell, Manhattan, MT, USA.
"This girl's got a great voice!" Frank Hennessey, presenter of Celtic Heartbeat, BBC Radio Wales.
"This mixture of songs combines authentic bluegrass vibes with well-crafted melodies informed by the English folk tradition: the whole CD represents a compelling Transatlantic mixture. Inch perfect vocals from Heather sit happily alongside really well-played traditional instruments and the use of metaphor and old gospel references enhance this great collection. Trust me, 'Ragged Souls' is groovy all the way through." Chris Fry, presenter of Groovy Things programme on Stroud FM, Stroud, UK.
"I'm really enjoying this album and particularly this track ['Where the Dogwood Blossoms Bloom']. ...Beautiful song that is." Johnny Coppin, presenter of BBC Radio Gloucestershire's weekly folk music showcase, Gloucestershire, UK.
"Just brilliant!" Sandrine France-Baker, presenter of Sandrine's Country Folk, Stroud FM, Stroud, UK.
"...As with her flirtation with musical styles, Bristow, casts quite a wide net with her songwriting, drawing on songs that are of a personal nature and mixing them with songs that are far more society based. Likewise she can switch from songs rich in detail to songs that are far more a flavour, it takes rare talent to write with such quality across that sort of range. There is a real spiritual timbre to Heather's voice, one that gives "Ragged Souls" a very uplifting, almost life affirming quality. The musicianship across the album is quite simply top draw and all of those factors come together to make an album that is very easy to recommend, not only for bluegrass fans, but also those of the wider Americana church." Neil King, www.fatea-records.co.uk.
"We were nearing the end of a long six-hour drive to Whitby. I’m quite familiar with my car CD collection, but suddenly there came a new and beautiful sound that I hadn’t heard. From 2001, Bluegrass fans have been made aware of American singer and musician Heather Bristow’s reputation, a fabulous songwriter which just oozes old-timey and country roots. Banjo, fiddle, bass and mandolin combine in a satisfying, sweet melting pot, and Heather’s striking and soaring double-tracked harmonies rise proudly above the music. It’s typical, feel-good road music, and I truly love it. " Mick Tems, Folkwales Online, www.folkwales.org.uk.
"Three years ago I enthused about an album by Bristol based bluegrass songstress Heather Bristow. So I was really pleased to receive a copy of her second album, “Ragged Souls”, and was even more excited to hear just what a first class job she had made on it. The American born singer-songwriter wrote (or co-wrote) the whole 12 track album, laying down her vocals in a studio in Bath, whilst co-producer Ben finished it off in Idaho. She has an impressive list of guests from both British & US bluegrass scenes, including banjo player Leon Hunt, American flatpicker John Lowell, and even harmonies from Mollie O’Brien. The material varies from the very folksy “Blow Back The Waves”, with only Josh Clark’s bodhran as accompaniment, to the gentle “The Fall” and "Jenny’s Song”.
I particularly enjoyed the traditional Appalachian sounding” Where The Dogwood Blossoms Bloom”, with its effective banjo, and proud vocals. It’s a song anyone from the Carolinas would take as their own. “Fool’s Gold” has a quirky Kathy Mattea feel to it, which I liked a lot. “True North”, with its added benefit of Keith Phillips’ accordion, also caught my attention. But stand out track has to be the catchy gospel song, “Passport To Heaven”, which features Mollie O’Brien on some lovely harmonies.
Altogether a stunning piece of music. A feast of traditional bluegrass originality. As John Lowell sums up... You’re in for a treat”. I can't say any more than that." Stewart Fenwick, presenter Celtic Country, 1530kHzAM, www.celticmusicradio.net, Glasgow, UK.
"American-born singer Heather Bristow's second album--a follow up to her 2009 debut 'Hope on the Vine'--is enjoyable listening. She has a robust, warm voice and on "Somebody's Cryin'" she adds able fiddle. All the songs are her own and she clearly demonstrates a considerable ability to write good lyrics and tunes. ...We will be hearing a lot more from Heather Bristow." Keith Hudson, Taplas Magazine, Wales, www.taplas.co.uk.