Review - Moonglow on the Midway
Annie and the Hedonists
Moonglow on the Midway (Windy Acres)
The Capital Region’s own Annie and the Hedonists conquer a large swath of acoustic territory on their second CD in 16 well-chosen covers. With more than seven decades of swing, bluegrass, blues, contemporary folk, and even Jewish Tin Pan Alley represented, one wonders what, stylistically, this polished, eclectic quartet can’t do.
Annie Rosen, a top-flight singer whose sultry alto calls to mind a young
Bonnie Raitt, the Hedonists are her husband Jonny Rosen on guitar and
steel guitar, Betsy Fry on bass guitar, and her spouse Steve Fry on
guitar, keyboards, mandolin, and, even flugelhorn. All three Hedonists
sing backup as well. Along for the often rootsy ride are vocalist
daughters Hannah Rosen and Amanda Fry, and local instrumental aces Frank
Orsini and John Kirk on fiddle, Dave Kiphuth on banjo, Kevin Maul on
dobro, and Peter Davis on clarinet.
The foursome open with “Everybody Loves My Baby,” an uptempo minor-key 1924 Tin Pan Alley tune. Annie slinks coquettishly through the verses, and Orsisni contributes an urbane fiddle break. The next tune, the 1937 hit “Me Myself and I,” stays in the same vein, and Annie stays in form despite a somewhat bumpy ending on the part of the rhythm section. Another 1930s tune, this time in Yiddish, follows: “Bei Mir Bist du Schoen (To Me You Are Beautiful).” Davis’ urbane clarinet gives the tune an appropriate klezmer quality here.
But there’s more than swing on this thing—“You Don’t Know My Mind” is a strutting traditional blues, and Stillhouse is a1996 song by Gillian Welch that evokes Appalachian old-time music with its modal melody. The real jewel of the album, though, is Annie’s moving rendition of Lucinda Williams’ “Sweet Old World,” a lament for a departed soul that shows how the alchemy of music can transcend heartbreak.
Fans of fine picking and masterful vocals will welcome Moonglow on the Midway.
Index of Metroland
Articles by Glenn Weiser ©2006 by Glenn
Weiser. All rights reserved.
©2006 by Glenn Weiser. All rights reserved.
Home | Celtic Fingerstyle Guitar Books | Harmonica Books | Music Lessons | CDs
Harmonica Main | Celtic Main | Blues Main | Fingerstyle Main | Woodstock 69 | Reviews
Free Celtic Guitar Arrangements | Free Celtic Harmonica Arrangements | Online Celtic Tunebook
Writings | MySpace Page | Discographies | To Order Books | Contact | Links | Translate