We've waited a long time for this one, and it's more than worth the wait. Ruth and Cyntia are simply the best creators of devotional music to the Goddess today. After nearly fifteen years of playing and singing together, they just keep on getting better.

This is their fifth collection of songs and instrumentals. Magical fretted dulcimer playing is augmented by cello, harp, flute, guitar and uilleann pipes. Available on cassette and CD, there are sixteen pieces here. I can't tell you which one is my favorite, because at least half of these songs are currently number-one with me. I was overjoyed to find recordings of beloved songs they've been singing for years like "Summer, Summer" (published in TBP Issue #1, Beltane '92) and Cyntia's song to "Bridget" as well as brand-new tunes.


"Apples of Avalon," set to the old traditional tune "She Moved Through the Fair," tells of Morgan as Celtic death-god­dess, welcoming us when our time has come: "She will soothe away your terror with harp and with song; and you'll feast upon apples of Avalon." It's followed by "Partings," a bittersweet song Cyntia wrote about the passing of her grandmother. Ruth's love song to "Hestia of the Hearth" brings me near tears each time I hear it. "Blessing Song," "Tree Lessons," and "Reverence to Her" are all songs to set your heart soaring toward the Lady. And "The May Queen is Waiting" is a celebration of sacred sex and a foray into dulcimer rock'n roll.


From the first strains of "Ocean Mother," with its echoing chorus "Mari, make me whole," to the fierce and passionate statement of "The Heart is the Only Nation," the album is a rich tapestry of emotions and images. Don't miss it. Order directly from Aeolus or LadySlipper, or ask at your local store.


~review by Joanna Colbert

Artists: Ruth Barrett & Cyntia Smith

Aeolus Music

CD: $16.50