A Review of the CD
"Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar"
by Cheryl Wheeler
"Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar"
by Cheryl Wheeler
Rounder Records Corporation
One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
PHILO CD PH 1192.
ph: (617)-354-0700 (800)-443-4727
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 9/98
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
send me an email message
Chock full of wry, raucous, and tender observations, this release covers
the usual Wheeler territory of human foibles, modern conveniences (or the
lack of), the beauty that come from connection to other living things,
and the pain and loss when relationships ebb or end.
"Mrs Pinocchi's Guitar," a soft, subtle tune celebrating the warmth
generated by people gathering on a porch to play the guitar and trade songs,
leads off the album.
Mixing acoustic and electric guitar, drums, bass, and piano effectively,
with backing vocals by Jonathan Edwards, Wheeler questions the motives
for entering relationships in the third cut "School Girls":
"...Easy to find and hard to hold
In "T.V.," a playful poke at how life comes to a standstill when the power
goes out and we have nothing to entertain us, Wheeler sings with mock disgust:
Love is like summer green
waiting to grow old
And it's not like the stories
school girls told
It is quiet as a winter dawn...
...And all around me I can see
Those who ran from the night
For warmth and company
Until they woke
to the strangers they could be
And the passion they no longer knew..."
"...Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah
I can't imagine there is any connection but I kept flashing on "Seinfeld"
character Elaine Benes speaking these words when I first heard this chorus.
Of course, Elaine just might have said "Oh, yadda, yadda, yadda" instead.
sky's real nice
moon's real big
stars real bright
cable calls and it don't seem right
That I can't watch TV..."
"Further And Further Away" laments the forgetting of the past and the
loss of good memories. Wheeler writes:
"...I can feel the way I used to feel
Performing in her most "manic" and then "better living through chemistry"
best in "Is It Peace Or Is It Prozac?", Wheeler offers to the world:
When the world was small and green
And you sang a song of soft appeal
And I curled into my dream...
...And then I shake my head
clearing my vision
I keep those scenes at bay
And I can feel the way I used to feel
Slipping further and further away..."
"I'm psychiatric now
Once under the soothing clutches of Prozac, she wonders:
It just happened
I don't know how
Life was moving right along
At a reasonable clip
When bang zoom
Lost my grip
And I'm psychiatric now..."
"...Is is peace or Prozac
This is pure Wheeler at her zaniest, with oboe, flute, organ and xylophone
adding the right musical backing to her story.
I don't care
No need to know that
When the moon is full
and the world's too close
I just keep my smile and I up my dose..."
"Howl At The Moon," a tribute to her dog James, takes the tack that
maybe animals are on to something. Simplifying human life to focus on the
basics of food, sleep, and going for a walk is an alternative worth a long
look. Focusing on the necessities in life makes things much less complicated--not
necessarily more interesting but more manageable.
Taking on the conservative right wing, Wheeler lampoons Newt Gingrich,
Jesse Helms, and the gang with "Makes Good Sense To Me":
"...I'm tired of all those PC liberals
With just her vocals and guitar, she closes with the achingly haunting
"One Love," a lament to how difficult it is to know the truth in a relationship:
tired of the fuss they've made
Every time some family's man
just called a spade a spade
Clutter our TVs, clutter our courts
Every time some dame
gets a poke in the shorts
And I'll be damned if I'll do my job
for a faggot or some foreign slob..."
"...I guess we're really gettin' old
This is a typical solid offering by Wheeler--you'll laugh, cry, and both
nod and shake your head, depending on the offering. The music is first
rate and never interferes with her message or story.
Always worrying we're wasting
Want something new to hold
Some affair would be the
Long roads crumble
forevers fall apart
one day we don't know
why we're so far...from..."
"...Seems impossible to know
what is real
and what is just some restless thing
And our hearts learn slow
all the miseries bad choices bring
So is it wise or lazy,
holding tight to what you've known
And is it brave or crazy,
searching for some..."
All songs written by Cheryl Wheeler.
- Mrs. Pinocchi"s Guitar (2:58)
- Does The Future look Black (4:07)
- School Girls (3:43)
- T.V. (1:38)
- The Rivers (3:38)
- Further & Further Away (4:53)
- Is It Peace Or Is It Prozac? (3:23)
- Howl At The Moon (3:25)
- The Storm (3:26)
- So Far To Fall (3:56)
- Makes Good Sense To Me (2:00)
- Piper (4:36)
- Time Taketh Away (3:36)
- One Love (4:37)
Copyright © 1998-2015 Kevin & Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews. All rights reserved.
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