A Review of the CD
"Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar"
by Cheryl Wheeler

"Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar"
by Cheryl Wheeler

Copyright 1995
Rounder Records Corporation
One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
ph: (617)-354-0700 (800)-443-4727
fax: (617)-868-8769

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 9/98
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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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":

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: 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.

"Further And Further Away" laments the forgetting of the past and the loss of good memories. Wheeler writes:

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: Once under the soothing clutches of Prozac, she wonders: This is pure Wheeler at her zaniest, with oboe, flute, organ and xylophone adding the right musical backing to her story.

"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":

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: 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.

Track List:

All songs written by Cheryl Wheeler.

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