A Review of the Cosy Sheridan CD
"Live At CedarHouse"

"Live At CedarHouse"
by Cosy Sheridan

Copyright 2006

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 9/06
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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If I were a folk god (please stop laughing), I would require every singer-songwriter to produce a 'Best Of' compilation at some point in his or her career. Let's call it my One Commandment since I'm not real big on the my-way-or-the-highway approach.

Cosy Sheridan has just done such a thing (see, someone's listening!) with her latest release, "Live At CedarHouse." Some may argue that it's more like a recorded live concert than a career summary, but the evidence is in the tracklist which includes most, though not all, of her best known songs. She also has a previous live CD, "One Sure Thing," but due to her prolific output, none of those songs appear here.

Here's what was most enjoyable:

"The Land of 10,000 Mothers" offers a dreamy perspective, a heaven-like 'what-if' scenario where hurt and pain do not exist. "Walk On," about challenging challenges, is a jaw-jutting partner to the old Nike commercial of "Just do it."

Relationship oriented, "Some Fires," twines wishing, wanting and hoping, along with golden and tarnished memories and a dash of the unexplainable.

Taking a clever poke at the utmost image conscious and those who dare not look their age in "Botox Tango," Sheridan sings:
"...I always wanted more facial definition and a somewhat stronger chin
Now I'd be happy with just a remission of this loss of collagen

You can put your fears to rest. I won't be getting any in the chest
it wouldn't solve any problems at all
And it'd just give me two more things to fall..."
"Anthymn" is seemingly a surrealistic fable about those picnic spoilers, ants, but more importantly, is about heart and humanity. This is a prime example of Sheridan weaving modest items together to produce a mosaic that speaks of something much larger.

Delving into ancient history in "Hannibal Crossed the Alps," Sheridan produces a rhythm that won't depart from the head of the listener. Again, she has fun:
"...Hannibal crossed the Alps. He started in Spain
Hannibal crossed the Alps. Imagine the baggage train
Food and shelter for a hundred thousand troops
Imagine that on your next morning commute...>

...Hannibal crossed the Alps. It was brilliant and bold
Hannibal crossed the Alps. His men were very cold
These were not the northern Goths, not the Vandals
These were Africans marching through snow in sandals..."
"George and His 88 Keys" is Sheridan at her most intimate and touching. She begins with wonderful and enchanting memories of family events with lots of relatives, and then slowly paints a picture of a most charming relative who has left his real self behind due to Alzheimers. Taking small moments and enlarging and humanizing them onto an even larger palette is one of Sheridan's most endearing talents.

Fellow males, do pay attention to the Insight provided to you about road trip female bathroom etiquette in the humorous tale "The Ladies Room."

Riffing on a collection of well known but contradictory phrases and inspired by the W.B. Yeats poem "The Second Coming," Sheridan offers "How Will the Center Hold." Here's a couple of verses:
"When the Rapture comes for the faithful I'm sure I'll be left behind
The Heaven of the literal minded it's not the heaven I am going to find
Whatever we were following to Bethlehem the trail is growing cold
Where are the neutral angels? How will the center hold?

...Think outside the box but do what you're told
Get a fitness plan and a five year goal
You've got fifteen minutes and then you're too old
How will the center hold?"
" Too Much Time" continues the human contradiction:
"I've too much time to want more time but I still do
Afraid of one shining moment I might lose
I've been known to run round just to see myself move
I've too much time to want more time but I still do...

...I'm too old to think love is just gentle and sweet
Any romance will make your heart skip a beat
And I used to want to be rescued, some days I still do
What you can't keep is still a hard thing to lose..."
Sheridan is at her quaintest in "jumwillies," a made-up word that delightfully demonstrates her creativity.

"In My Mother's House" is similar but not quite the same in meaning as "Land of 10,000 Mothers."

Sheridan fans will enjoy this collection as will those seeking an introduction to this singer-songwriter.

There is between-each-song patter and applause not listed in the following tracklist.

Track List:

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