Such Is Life (RGFCD030)
Road Goes On Forever Records can hardly believe its luck ! Released in February, 1996, will be 'Such Is Life' (RGFCD 030), the debut solo album by JULIE MATTHEWS, arguably the first world class female singer/songwriter to emerge from Europe since Joan Armatrading or Chrissie Hynde.
It is too easy for overwrought publicists to make outrageous claims which do not hold water on closer inspection: proof is necessary before such claims can be taken seriously, and here is that proof: In recent times, songs written by Julie Matthews have been recorded by Mary Black: 'The Thorn Upon The Rose' was a top 10 single in both Japan and Ireland; by Fairport Convention: 'Jewel In The Crown' was the title track of the group's acclaimed 1995 album; by Barbara Dickson, and by Frances Black who have both recorded songs by Julie on their new albums.
Indeed, of the fourteen songs included on `Such Is Life, six have already been covered by other artists prior to the release of Julies album. In addition, Julie has been a key member of three recent Albion Band line-ups, alongside Fairport founders Ashley Hutchings and Simon Nicol, and has just completed her third album as a member of this legendary band. She also wrote the lion(ess)'s share of the tracks on the acclaimed Intuition all-woman collection.
Julie's previous album as a featured artist was as the writer of the entire 'Lies & Alibis' album by the vocal duo of Pat Shaw & Julie Matthews, released in 1993 and universally praised in both the folk and country press. 'Such Is Life' is the first Julie Matthews solo album, on which she plays keyboards as well as electric, acoustic and 12 string guitars. She wrote all but one of the 14 songs (she co-wrote the odd one out with fellow Albion Band member Chris While; Julie and Chris were one of the major successes of the 1995 Cambridge Folk Festival) Among the familiar names who assist on 'Such Is Life' are Julie's colleagues in the all-female quintet, Daphne's Flight: Helen Watson, Christine Collister and Chris While, as well as a guest appearance from Frances Black and even a cameo from 'The Guv'nor' himself, Ashley Hutchings.
Produced by Julie and long-time collaborator John Leonard, 'Such Is Life' is packaged with a suitably impressive full colour 8 page booklet with lyrics, credits and striking colour/black & white photographs. That Julie Matthews is bound for international stardom is not a matter for debate. She is destined for the Premier League alongside those who inspired her, all-time greats like Carole King, Carly Simon, Janis Ian, Shawn Colvin and Mary-Chapin Carpenter (for whom Julie, along with Pat Shaw, opened a London show in 1994 to great acclaim).