Usually, I hate a ukele

Folk music really isn't my thing. My problem is artists like Emma Stevens, a recent discovery who came to me when she recently supported the fabulous Marcella Detroit at The Stables.

Usually, a folky beat and a ukele would be enough to take me back to the bar, but Emma has a quirky, improvisational and relaxed style which - I am sure - takes a lot of practice.

I even bought a copy of her latest EP. THAT's not something I do often.

Dreaming Trees is a collection of four songs that seem both autobiographical and inspirational. Not in a sickly-sweet kind of way.

Track two was, apparently, written as a present. 'The Star that Guides you Home. I want one of them. The track speeds along nicely and Emma's lyrics extend the metaphor and take it across any number of images. Good songwriting wins every time - even with a ukele.

The EP's title track has a little too much of the story-telling and fantasy nature that is what has always turned me off folk. But the EP is definitely saved by Give a Little Bit. Performed live, this chimed nicely with Marcella's later songs Be the Change and Find the Good. Maybe women who write songs are particularly good at the motivational.

Emma Stevens' songs made me forgive the ukele a little. Maybe I won't always head for the bar when I see one perched on stage in future.

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