The first thing that caught my attention was noting on the back cover that the album was produced by June Millington. Now that might not mean a great deal to younger ears, but those who came up through the burgeoning rock scene of the 70s will know her as leader and, along with sister Jean, founder of all-female American outfit Fanny, perhaps best known for the US Top 40 single Charity Ball.
As well as producing, June and her sister also play on the album, but enough about them. Even more interesting is Linq herself. Otherwise known as gay singer-songwriter activist Diane Lincoln, she didn’t start making music until she was 55, releasing her debut album in 2004. Now in her 60s, she’s just released her sixth, an album about different forms of disconnection, that finds her voice still in fine form (at times reminiscent of Judy Small at other Joan Baez) and her political fire undiminished with songs that address civil rights protests (Seneca Falls To Selma), female emancipation (Patriarch (Apron Strings)), the alienating nature of modern technology (Disconnect) and homophobia (Bully). Written in the wake of the 2011 Japanese tsunami impact on the nuclear reactors, Living On The Edge Of Disaster sounds an environmental warning note while, reminding that we need a sense of perspective, Pillow sets women complaining about the comfort of their hotel sleeping arrangements against images of tents in a refugee camp.
It’s not all political, Whatever Happened is a simple break-up song while Lady Of the Night tells of a middle-aged woman whose broken dreams have led her into prostitution, but it’s those built around issues that hit hardest.
Musically speaking, she moves between acoustic folk and bluesier rock numbers, the feel of both harking back to the late 60s and early 70s without necessarily coming across as dated, the album completed by self-descriptive closing instrumental Dusky Mellow and a sturdy cover of Tom Petty’s Two Gunslingers that fits neatly into the album’s pervading theme. She may work on the fringes rather than at the heart of the national consciousness, but her voice and her music are no less worth your attention.
Review by: Mike Davies