BETH ORTON has embraced and eschewed the ‘singer-songwriter’ tag throughout her career, never opting solely for the one guitar, three chords, and the truth approach.
Pitchfork summed up the Englishwoman thus: “Orton has, at times, been sassy and romantic, wild and folky, puritanical and experimental - for better and worse, not at all circumscribed by the singer-songwriter tag.”
She has, over the years, in addition to releasing five solo albums (six if you count the Japan only SuperPinkyMandy ), worked with William Orbit, the Chemical Brothers, Ben Harper, and Ryan Adams.
However, the Chicago based on-line publication also noted how her most recent album, Sugaring Season, released in October, “finds her perhaps more at ease with the tag of singer-songwriter than ever before”.
The roots of the album lie in a cow barn at the end of a dirt lane in Norfolk in the summer of 2007. Orton, having split from her label and raising an infant daughter on her own, packed up her life in London and moved back to where she was from.
She also received weekly guitar lessons from the late, very great, British folk guitarist Bert Jansch (an inspiration to Jimmy Page and Nick Drake ), who introduced her to alternate guitar tunings. “I was finding a whole world within my guitar,” she says.
By the time her daughter was three, Orton had a batch of new songs and with help from her (then soon-to-be ) husband, folk singer-songwriter Sam Amidon, the album began to take shape.
Beth Orton plays Strange Brew at the Róisín Dubh on Thursday March 21 at 9pm where she will perform songs from this album, along with favourites from across her career.
Tickets are available at www.roisindubh.net, from the Ticket Desk at OMG, Shop Street (formerly Zhivago ), and The Róisín Dubh.