MELODICALLY sparkling and rhythmically enticing, there is so much to commend Chasing Clocks, the debut album by Burnley songstress Lucy Zirins, released on Monday.
Her dozen, self-penned songs bound out of the traps and are forged with a heady mix of folk, country, soul and blues.
And it promises to be a golden year for the young singer who will share the stage with Wishbone Ash and The Zombies at the 25th Burnley International Rock and Blues Festival in May.
“I was a 14-year-old when my dad took me to the festival and I saw Michael Roche, the blues singer, perform,” recalled Lucy, who studied music at Nelson and Colne College.
“I turned to Dad and said, ‘I’m going to be on that stage one day.’ “A few years later I sang at an open mic session and Michael got in touch, offering me a European Blues scholarship, which helped my career. To be singing on the main stage at my home town festival makes me so proud because it has played such a big part in my early life.”
Produced by her mentor Michael Messer, one of the world’s finest slide guitarists, unusually the album was recorded on an eight-track reel-to-reel tape, without the use of any computers or digital equipment.
“The album is exactly how I wanted it, a natural and warm sound and a melting pot of the many types of music I love,” said Lucy.
“Certainly, to have amazing musicians like Richard Causon, BJ Cole, who has worked with Elton John and Joan Armatrading, and Emily Burridge perform on the album was incredible because they’re people I’ve always admired.”
One of the tracks, Goodnight, is a very moving song and shows her splendid songwriting strength.
“It is written about the musicians who die too young,” added Lucy.
“When you’re on the circuit you see the struggle that some musicians go through with alcohol and drugs and you know that if they continue on that road they might die.
“There are some good people who have to face that struggle in their daily lives and we’ve seen famous artists like Kurt Cobain pay the ultimate price.”
Lucy, who began gigging when she was 15, said: “I’ve given up my job and I’m doing this full-time now.
“I’ve been astonished by the reaction I’ve had to the album.
“I’ve just had my first review, which was really good thankfully, so it is a very exciting time.”
Lucy Zirins plays the Burnley Rock and Blues Festival at Burnley Mechanics on Sunday, May 5, Details from 01282 664411.