Published Nov 14, 2018Christine Fellows writes about people. Her 2007 album, Nevertheless, focused on the life of writer Marianne Moore and artist Joseph Cornell; 2011's Femmes de chez nous celebrated women in the context of Franco-Manitoban history. Now, with Roses on the Vine, she brings dynamism to her music, as she dives into the lives and works of women who inspire her own creation.
Roses on the Vine is speckled with visual artists, filmmakers, choreographers and Fellows' own family and friends. With this, her seventh album, Fellows lets her attention linger on the ways in which we take care of each other. Her voice lilts gently over melodies written on a ukulele, then is often propelled by added instrumentation: a growth parallel to her characters' and to her own songwriting methodology.
Change is also represented through the seasons. There is the winter detailed in the thud and sparkle of "One More for the Road," then autumn eeriness in the plucked melodies of "Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home" (released as a single to coincide with Halloween), and the loving and gentle duet of "The Swimmer" evokes the optimism of summertime.
Experimentation also has a home here. "Sunrise" is mathematical and electric, "Dutch Bliss" begins minimal but is soon filled up and glowing with strings that create a slow chaos. Fellows is not interested in stories of stasis, but rather stories in which we can raise each other up.
Christine Fellows continues the creation of her storytelling legacy with Roses on the Vine: she is a writer with inspiration in full bloom, a musician with roots outside of herself. (Vivat Virtute)