"A modest release containing a real songwriting talent, 'Watching Ghosts' rewards investigation."
(fRoots Magazine, Jan 2014)
Songwriter / Musician New Zealand
[Light Time & Sound] "Perfect late-night listening for grown-ups"
(fRoots Magazine, Mar 2018)
(2017) Light Time & Sound
For her most recent release ‘Light Time & Sound’ she has ventured into new musical territory, teaming up with four new musicians from very different backgrounds. Guitarist/singer Paul Symons is in demand as a soloist, accompanist and recording musician (acoustic, Dobro, pedal-steel, electric guitar). Multi-instrumentalist Lott has played jazz/blues festivals worldwide, and all the major NZ folk festivals. Lott contributed double-bass to the award-winning Best NZ Folk Album of 2010. Cellist Janet Holborow is a high calibre session musician performing in many musical combinations including a lively 'bistro cabaret' act. Neil Billington is one of NZ’s leading exponents of the harmonica, combining a rare capacity for both blues and chromatic harp; in 2016 he was invited to play with lead act, slide-guitar legend Sonny Landreth at the ‘Live Magic’ blues festival in Tokyo.
New Zealand based singer-songwriter delivers pithy, observational lyrics and memorable tunes. Arrangements are acoustic Americana (dobro, double bass, pedal steel) enriched by Paul Symons harmony vocals and Neil Billington’s exquisite harmonica playing. Perfect late-night listening for grown-ups.
fRoots Magazine 417, March 2018
(2013) Watching Ghosts...
and Other Songs - reviews
"Dorothy's own guitar and piano and the double bass and violin of Richard Prowse and Fiona Smythe sensitively support her clear voice in jazzy folk-pop arrangements that occasionally (especially on 'Curio Bay') reminded this listener of Eddi Reader. A modest release containing a real songwriting talent, 'Watching Ghosts' rewards investigation, and in (eco-warrior's tale) 'For Peace & For Green' a song which deserves to be discovered and sung by discerning song interpreters everywhere."
Steve Hunt, fRoots Magazine 367, Jan 2014
"As suggested with its name, this album is full of poetic imagery with inspired guitar riffs and the strong, clear and melodious harmony of Helen Dorothy’s voice. The English-born, Wellington-based guitarist (actually multi-instrumentalist here) and singer/songwriter weaves her Celtic roots into each song via some beautiful violin sounds, along with her own acoustic and resonator guitar, mandola and piano. From the opening verse to the stirring finale, this album is intended to take the listener on a journey of moods, exploring some of the ways we experience and deal with our mortality... Dorothy collaborates with double-bassist Richard Prowse and violinist Fiona Smythe. The artistry of her voice also works beautifully alongside contributions from jazz maestro Kevin Clark on flugelhorn, smallpipies from Celtic musician Oscar West and guitar added by sound engineer Robbie Duncan, who recorded this album at his Braeburn Recording Studio."
Lucy Mullinger, NZ Musician Dec/Jan 2014
"Everything about this release seems to fit. The digipak layout, the album artwork and artist photo, the lyrical subject matter, and of course the songs themselves seem at one with each other. England-born, Wellington-based Dorothy is an acoustic folk artist in an honest sense. She's a singing, guitar playing storyteller. There are other musicians and instruments, sure. But there are no studio tricks going on here, nor is there wizardry in the arrangements or the mixing. Instead Dorothy's songs are left to speak for themselves - providing tales and observations, thoughts and commentaries. This is an intimate listen - if you aren't prepared to give it all your attention there's no point putting it on. The reward from these 'alone' kind of albums comes in the sad, thought provoking and beautiful places they can take you to...."
Shaun Chait, NZ Musician magazine Oct/Nov 2009
"I love the simplicity of her CD, and to coin an old phrase 'less is more'. One person and a guitar, modal tunings, and the interplay of voice and droning strings...Helen has cracked it in my books...this CD is not trying to push talent in my face with over engineering and instrumentation; she is simply singing and playing her haunting songs..."
Julian Ward, Musician, 2009
(2009) The Going Away
"...a splendid CD"
Ken Nicol, Steeleye Span/
The Albion Band, Folkcast Aug 2011