This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/02
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Eva Cassidy is back! Oh, if we were truly so fortunate. But our good luck is that the songstress with the golden voice, prior to her death, recorded or was recorded, performing the selections on this release. Because just about anything tendered by Cassidy is worthwhile.
The "test" usually associated with a release of "covers" such as these is are they equal to or better than the originals? If not, why bother? In most cases here, the answer is yes to one or the other measurement.
And, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the proof is in the often-tortured "Danny Boy." Now wait before roiling up and tossing those brickbats. Cassidy's version is subtle and haunting, veering far from the maudlin and melodramatic rendered by so many others. Simply utilizing her vocals and solo guitar was a wise decision here.
Continuing my road to heresy, Cassidy's rendition of "Imagine," is again elevated by her solo guitar. She offers a delicate interpretation that draws the listener into each word of the lyrics.
So closely associated with Peggy Lee, "Fever," is not given the smoldering, sensual feel and sound of Lee's production. Rather, Cassidy brings a greater intensity to the cut, with her brother, Dan, adding violin backing that weaves well with the vocals.
These three cuts reflect the eclectic nature on this combination of songs, a gathering that moves from Paul Anka to John Lennon to Stevie Wonder to Gordon Lightfoot and so on. That's definitely what you call a full spectrum.
On Sandy Denny's "Who Knows Where The Time Goes," Cassidy's turn is a wistful one, while on "Tennessee Waltz," she matches the emotional appeal so wonderfully engendered by Patti Page.
The offerings are a mix of previously unreleased studio cuts and tapes capturing Cassidy at various venues. No lyrics are provided in the liner notes but, with Cassidy, who cares? None are needed. Just give me that voice and those musical interpretations.
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