A Review of the CD
"That's How it's Gonna Be"
by Eric Schwartz

"That's How it's Gonna Be"
by Eric Schwartz

Copyright 1999 - CLAR001
Claritone Music
P.O. Box 4048
Union, NJ 07083
ph: (877)290-8908

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 7/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
send me an email message

The best songwriters say their most difficult creative effort is to pen a humorous tune. Well, Eric Schwartz has literally burst out of the East Coast folk music scene with a release offering five witty cuts whose content meanders from subtle asides and ironies to biting but still laughable social commentaries. Rest assured, however, that this is not a comedy release. Schwartz' other elegant compositions traverse the serious scale from a depiction of his personal Shangri-la in "Only Be," to the heartfelt "Brother Mine," to a brief, doomed love affair in "My Lady of the Broken Glass."

Schwartz offers fresh, clever, remarkable songwriting nestled in various song styles and moods, in a delightfully-paced musical mix. He opens with "Hattie And Mattie." Spirited by light percussion and clarinet flourishes, he finally catches on that the two elderly women living downstairs from him are lesbians and comes to learn they first met in Paris, introduced by Gertrude Stein. He sings:

"Cuz Mary Said So" is a poke at self-improvement devotees. An obviously mismatched couple has an unusual relationship dynamic--one that doesn't bode well for the future of the union. Schwartz sings: May I suggest a prenuptial be signed if this relationship ever ventures into marriage territory.

The sweet "Only Be" offers Schwartz' Rx for relief from the madcap hustle and bustle of city life. His chorus prescribes:

Turning playful, Schwartz has a conversation with cockroach one night in the playful "I Just Killed Kafka." Alluding to his new acquaintance, Schwartz sings: "Brother Mine" is a confessional, letter-like plea from one brother to another. One sibling is in distress but attempting to disguise his trouble. Schwartz' reassuring chorus goes: The strings and violin-backed "Me 'n' Jenny And The Lovely Marilu" is a languid but sometimes venomous exploration of a menage a trois that is quite less than a holy trinity. The best written and most effective cut on the release, it goes: The exquisitely written "My Lady of the Broken Glass" is his delicate contribution to folksingers' expansive love-lost collection. Accompanied simply by acoustic guitar, Schwartz' imagery and style is reminiscent of Loreena McKennitt's old English tales.

Schwartz' observances of New York City's Washington Square populace is presented in the satirical and charming "Psycho Ballet." It goes:

"...We'll sit ourselves down on a nice afternoon
I'll point out performers and let you lampoon
There sure ain't no dearth of galutes on this earth
But there's some here that hail from the moon
Like the nuthouseketeers
And the brown-baggied-beers
Drunk by drunks that have drunk here
For twenty-five years
The comatose stone-boys and hip-hoppin' homeboys
With blasters abusin' our ears
There's a panhandling prophet
Who swears he's been off it
Since early last year or perchance yesterday
Yes, the bullshit will fly 'n' you'll laugh 'til you're cryin'
When spyin' the Psycho Ballet...

You've pot bell-bottomed beauties
In swell-bottomed splendor
And frat-boys who've blown it
For the rest of their gender
Ticker-tape traders who blew it on blow
And resemble Garcia, without all his dough
You got cam-cording tourists and Jesus-freak jurists
And pud-pounding purists on piss-house patrol
Mohawked marauders and brain-dead skateboarders
Who don't seem to mind running straight into poles
Well, there'll always be accolades
For spandex on rollerblades
And losers in Lennon-shades with nothing to say
No need to go formal, a tee-shirt is normal
When viewing the Psycho Ballet...

You've got guys who set fire to themselves for a quarter
And girls who unshod would be eight inches shorter
Bozos on benches who bobble their boners
And bimbo-bait bowsers who act like their owners
Egos who masturbate with their guitars
And seduce teenyboppers convinced that they're stars
But when the girlies are gone they are just as alone
And neurotic as they were before
To your surest chagrin
The asylum you're in's gonna start to make sense
In the scariest way
And when the bizarre'uns have ceased to seem foreign
You'll star in the Psycho Ballet..."

Familiarity with the denizens of Washington Square will enhance your enjoyment of this song but it isn't necessary in order to get a laugh, or recognize similar environs of your hometown and possibly a citizen or two of the same likeness.

Produced by Crit Harmon, the initial effort of this relative newcomer is absolutely rewarding. Climb on his burgeoning bandwagon while there's still seating.

Schwartz on acoustic guitar and vocals is backed by Greg Holt on bass and upright bass; Brad Hatfield on piano, organ, strings and synths; Eric Parker on drums and percussion; Alfredo Hidrovo on percussion; Steve Heck on piano and clavinet; Harry King on piano and B-3; Crit Harmon on electric guitar; Matt Leavenworth on violin; John Troy on bass; Billy Novick on clarinet; Derek Dyer on saxophone and Concetta Gordon, Patti Unitas, Ned Claflin, Andrew Cranin, Chuck Ross and Eric Aubin on backing vocals.

Track List:

All songs written by Eric Schwartz.

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