This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 11/02
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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On the menu at the Cyd Ward musical diner today, the primary ingredient of all the entrees is relationships. Ward's is a cuisine borne of personal introspection, forged from connections between mother-daughter, mother-son, father-daughter, and that never ending well of recipes, the pre-, present and post-coupling and uncoupling of two individuals.
Ward, a Floridian singer-songwriter with a pleasing voice, tells tales and weaves small vignettes possessing universal human themes.
The most powerful song is "Killing Time." About the unconscionable violence that permeates from Main Street to Wall Street through the entire world, she uses portions of nursery rhymes to make her point: "now, right or wrong, they're only two points of view, so when Jack fell down, Jill came tumbling down, too" and "of the sight of a gun in a hand so small, Mama, you're babies are falling, cradle and all."
The chiding chorus goes:
"...Men killing time killing men killing time and time again..."Of a letter written to a lover gone on to greener pastures, in "Between The Lines," she portrays what is written but really meant, in a bubble-above-the-head style:
"That I'm sorry means you hurt meThe melancholy "All Dressed Up," about life cycles and circumstances, is a tune Nanci Griffith or Emmylou Harris would be proud to present.
Though I'm sure you never knew
Give her my best means I wish I was her
It's the best this pen will do
And goodbye means I love you..."
In the chorus of "What's It Like In Maine," Ward actually sounds reminiscient of a cross between Griffith and Harris.
"Knights" depicts passivity and waiting for someone else to make your life resulting in a lifetime on the sidelines. Ward sings:
"...I spent too much time building castlesIn "Can We Make A Family," Ward sings of the wary dance between two wounded relationship refugees:
With sand that would wash back to the sea
I should have been forging tomorrows
Not waiting for them to find me..."
"...Yes, I know you've seen troubleOrder any of the entrees here and you'll do just fine. Ward, in her first release, has created a fine banquet of specials.
And growing up was tough
The little boy who needed love
Is a man who's had enough
I've made my own journey
And forgiving's hard to so
But holding on to what went wrong
Leaves no room for anything new..."
Ward, on vocals, acoustic guitar and recorder, is assisted by Joe Cullison on acoustic guitar and bass; John Marsden on keyboard, 12-string guitar and harmony; Larry Jacoby on bass; Charlie Morgan on percussion; Hal Stokes on harmony; Tommy Calton on lead acoustic guitar and acoustic slide guitar; Cindi Kalb on harmony; Bob Rafkin on bass and Jonathan Hodge on fiddle.
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