Sweet and soulful, Honey and Holy Water flows with urgency and wonder. It's been almost 50 years since Woodstock. (The only cover tune on the album.) The honey bees are disappearing. The oceans are in peril. Will we make it back to the garden before the jig is up?
In August of 1969, nearly half a million blissed-out music lovers converged upon a muddy farmer’s field in the name of peace and drugs and love and a 25 year old Canadian watched it on TV, crying, and then her fingers ran like water across the keys of her piano as she wrote a love song for humanity, a golden anthem for an era.
Fast forward to an age of tarnished idealism and ecological crisis and the need to get “back to the garden” is more pressing than ever, which is why singer songwriter Oona McOuat covered Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock on her new release.
Same nationality, same pure voice, same golden hair, but on this upbeat version of the song, the piano is replaced by a Celtic harp and Oona is joined by rootsy Zimbabwean singer James Mujuru, affirming the cross cultural stream that irrigates the shrinking Eden we now share.
Produced and engineered on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia by Daryl Chonka and mastered at Randy Bachman's The Barn, the CD features stellar performances by wild cellist Corbin Keep, wise cellist Jami Sieber, woodwinds whiz Richard Lee, homegrown percussionist Chris Bertin, fiddlers Zav Rokeby-Thomas and Michael Fox and singers James Mujuru and Desmond Sutherland, with Chonka adding bass, guitar, piano, didg and beats. Some of the tracks were recorded in Hawaii and Brazil adding to the cross-cultural flow of this project.
From the fun and funky re-creation of the trad tune Drowsy Maggie to The Wild Ones’ heartfelt plea for preservation, through the broken-open love song, Where the Emptiness is Full, this album navigates mystery and loss with purity and grace while encouraging us to cherish what might yet be saved.