Waterbug Records - WBG 0050
P.O. Box 12736
Portland, OR 97212
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 7/01
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Is the glass half full or half empty? Damn that Zen stuff. In the case of Gina Forsyth's "You Are Here," my vote, with an unhanging chad, thank you very much, goes for half full. The first half of this release is loaded with passionately delivered eclectic songs. Sounding at times like Cheryl Wheeler while lamenting some relationship quagmires associated with Wheelerville, Forsyth also reflects, at times comically, positively or acerbically on other aspects of life.
The second half of the offerings (16 tunes are presented here) don't stir up quite the same intrigue as the initial eight or so, but the first group packs a punch and leaves a memorable impression.
A stand-and-deliver declaration of the joyousness surrounding human connection, the celebratory "You Are Here" goes:
"...I felt the doors swingWith wonderful mandolin backing, "Everywhere I Am" longingly ventures into the slog through mis-connection:
and the windows open
and the walls came
my feet were celebrating
what I found
next thing I knew
they were off the ground..."
"...I am missing your voiceMixing humor and irony, Forsyth adds:
I am missing your call
I am missing you most of all..."
"...You calledThe haunting effect caused by the mix of the delivery, rhythm and lyrics of "The Sweetest Sound" evoke more than a few tears to shy away:
my ship came in
I'm stuck at the Amtrak station..."
"...And on a good dayWho we become, how we turn out and the pressures and factors involved are the gist of "Somewhere Off The Foot Of This Mountain." Forsyth's chorus starts:
I hear your voice
and I know you're somewhere near
On a good day
I hear your voice
your signal's loud and clear
your voice inside my memory
is the sweetest sound on Earth
"...somewhere off theAt song's end, the chorus' ending changes to:
foot of this mountain
they say there's a rainbow there
waiting for me
at the end of that rainbow, yeah
to remind me of someone
that I used to be
"...I'd like to see"Monday Morning Stretch" illustrates the psychological push-and-pull of an obligatory job versus an absolute passion. Forsyth sings:
just a picture of someone
so wild and free..."
"...cause when you found that youShe adds:
have something better to do
with your life
you'd feel the same way too..."
"...oh it's been too many yearsWith swingy violin and mandolin backing, "Texas Waltz" is a love song, primarily concerning desiring to return to a certain spot on Louisiana's Gulf of Mexico.
of chasing after a career
and in my bitter tears
I call on my soul and hear
this number has been disconnected
"The Lumber Song" features an environmental focus, with a great verse:
"......if lumber falls and no one's watchingDon't worry. The eight-pack will be more than enough--great taste and more than filling.
will it matter anyway
the loudest silence in the forest
is what that lumberman won't say..."
Forsyth, on guitar, violin and vocals, is backed by Larry Clyman on acoustic and electric guitars; Mike West on electric guitar and vocals; Steve LaFleur on electric guitar and vocals; David Doucet on acoustic guitar; Don Stiernberg on mandolin; Pat Flory on mandolin and vocals; Steve Rashid on Hammond B-3 organ; Jim Markway on upright, fretless and electric bass; Marvin Williams on upright bass; Matt Swiler on drums, shaker, triangle and spoons; Doug Belote on drums; Sue Demel, Nancy Walker, Kat Eggleston, Myshkin, Laura Freeman, Mark Saucier and Dave Dupree on vocals.
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