Shirley Novak - When The Day Is Done

Tuesday 1st April 1997
Shirley Novak - When The Day Is Done
Shirley Novak - When The Day Is Done

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Alliance ALD052
RRP: £2.50

Reviewed by Trevor Kirk

It never fails to amaze me why some very talented people never get the recognition their talent deserves, whilst run-of-the-mill people are hyped sky high. Those with long memories (and all the Cross Rhythms back issues) will know that (to quote ol' TC from his review of Shirley's last CD), "the eminently talented and willfully neglected" Miss Novak has consistently put out excellent recordings, right back to 1985 and the '7 Trax' cassette on Ears & Eyes (I've just managed to get a copy for my UCB Cross Rhythms Vinyl Frontier show, so I can confirm its quality). Her Myrrh album 'Semi-Aware' in 1989 should have been the start of something big; sadly, she's had to finance her own recordings recently, but this album could be "it" at last- Well done, Alliance! Those who know Shirley's work will know what to expect: no sign of triumphant "Jesus Jesus Jesus" lyrics, it's all about the pain and problems of real life - single parenthood ("Arms Of My Baby"), family breakup from the daughter's point of view ("Need You Back"), the torment of the ending of a relationship gone wrong ("Beyond Me" and "Crazy"). Her triple-header tours with Caroline Bonnett and Sue Rinaldi have bome fruit in that Caroline arranged and produced four tracks, on which Sue joins in on backing vocals. The others feature Gavin Courtie's bass guitar and programming. Dave Anderson's pedal steel guitar and some tasty accordion from Liz Welch. Perhaps my favourite track is "I Wish", highlighting the difficulty of leading the Christian life. As one who stumbles with monotonous regularity. I was very blessed by this one. Easy listening this ain't: listen with care and you'll get blessed as I was.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Neil O'Dell in Dorset @ 20:18 on Jun 17 2010

Hi Shirley, its great to see how many people can not forget how storng your word was and what an amazing effect you have. i have recently been in touch with dear cloin maddams and he is going to be playing at my wedding next year. we spoke so much of the times we had togeather and the amazing gigs we did. i really hope you are well and still recording. Neil. x

Posted by catherine guilloret in france @ 14:09 on Apr 16 2009

Hi!!! Remember me, do you??? I would be so glad to hear from you, so i'm just sending this wee message, hoping you'll get it. I do hope you're fine. Can hear ABBA, or B Streisand, or France Gall without thinking of you, wondering what you've been doing all these years. Pliiiz, get in touch. Catherine de Noiseau

Posted by Steve Bennett in Wellingborough @ 17:08 on Jul 13 2008

Hi Shirley,

I have just started downloading a bit of music and as I sat reminiscing I thought of you. I did a search of your name and found this site. I also found one of your albums on ebay, so I purchased that. I often talk of your Dad and things we did together. So many lifes altered by his death.

I have written a book about my childhood. Would be lovely tohear from you I still have a number for you but thats from years ago. When you next look at the site get in touch, be lovely to hear from you.

Love Steve x

Posted by Leanne Hunter in Wellingborough @ 12:50 on Dec 15 2007

Hi Shirley
Gosh it's been so many years!! I'll never foget the fun and laughs we had when i came out to some of your gigs. It was a real honour to sing backing vocals for you, i loved your music.. Beyond your eyes was my favourite, among many many others. Would love to get in touch and catch up, find out whats been happening with you. Hopefully talk soon

Reply by Shirley Novak in Newark @ 14:27 on Dec 20 2007

Oh Leanne!!! I have often thought about you, and then your lovely daughter contacted me through this... You didn't leave your email address but Kelly has it so lets catch up! WOuld love to get together sometime...

[report abuse]

Posted by Kelly Hunter in North London / Wellingborough @ 22:13 on Oct 19 2007

Hi Shirley, I hope you get to read this, it's Kelly Hunter, Leanne's daughter, remember us?? Anyway it was really weird, I just started singing miracle of love out of the blue just now and it made me think of you, so I googled you to see what I could find and it gave me this! Anyway I dont know what you remember of us but if you would like to get in touch I will leave my e-mail addy. Hope you are well and life is good and woould love to hear from you. Kelly x

Posted by Trevor Kirk in Stoke-on-Trent, England @ 14:33 on Aug 7 2007

Shirley - if you can read this, I just re-read my review - I wouldn't change a word!! I'm planning to feature a track from 'Semi-Aware' on my UCB UK programme this Saturday evening, August 11 - 'In My Name'. Hope to see you back recording and performing soon - ring up Sue and Caroline and see what you can fix!

Reply by Shirley Novak in Newark.. @ 10:01 on Aug 19 2007

Thank you for that, it's weird to think people are still listening to that stuff.... so old! Many thanks again.

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Posted by Shirley Novak in Newark Nottinghamshire @ 22:06 on Jul 3 2007

Hello, a friend pointed me to the website and your comments.. I was shocked and touched to say the least. I am still involved in music but more in music creating rather than performing. After my father died 13 years ago I found my faith in tatters and am only just begining to crawl my way back but have a head full of material so who knows! Many thanks again....

Reply by Shirley Novak in Newark Nottinghamshire @ 17:51 on Jul 18 2007

Hey thats an old song, I wrote that with an old friend of mine... cassette days eh!

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Reply by Chris in UK @ 00:40 on Jul 15 2007

Hi Shirley

Was just listening to a track of yours from way back - Lord of the morning - love it to bits. Saw you sing this - can't remember where - maybe Brighton or somewhere near. Had a tough time since then too but God doesn't let go! Hang in.

[report abuse]

Posted by Celia Taylor in Shropshire @ 14:46 on May 14 2007

Hello Neil
Just wondered wheher you receivedd a reply to where Shirley is now.

Celia Taylor

Reply by Neil O'Dell @ 11:02 on Jun 23 2007

i am affriad i have not had any reply to say where shirley is. would love to hear her sing again.

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Posted by Neil O'Dell in Bournemouth / Wellingborough @ 22:23 on Mar 10 2007

Where is the one and only Shirley??????? would love to see her singing again on stage. the most wonderfull sound and voice you could ever wish to hear. total class and a amazing way to put the word across to so many people. never seen anyone spread the word in such a wonderfull way.

Posted by Celia Taylor in Shropshire @ 14:11 on Feb 26 2007

Is Shirley still recording?

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