A Review of the CD
"Where The Mangoes Are"
by Kate McDonnell
"Where The Mangoes Are"Produced by Scott Petito
by Kate McDonnell
Copyright 2004 - Appleseed 1085
P.O. Box 2593
West Chester, PA 19380
This review written by Kevin McCarthy, 2/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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It's been a while since Kate McDonnell's last new release, 2001 to
be exact. Well, she's back with a new set of songs focused on a variety
of relationships, including one cut that amazingly captures the times
we live in.
That song is "Mercy" and its subject matter spans personal safety, isolation, collateral
damage, political media packaging, and our ethnocentrism that makes the
lives of strangers not of our clan less worthwhile than our own. If
nothing else (which is highly unlikely) its engaging rhythm will grab
you. Two lines stand out:
"...to hear the news you'd think there's no people here but us..."Plus, cleverly employing a slightly changed phrase:
"...my neighborhood gets smaller as Bush comes to shove..."This is a song people will remember, a song whose subject matter will
spark discussion and debate--one of the divine purposes of art.
The opening song,"Tumbleweed," is a minimalist description of what
seems to be a musician's road trip, reminiscent of the days of the
telegraph where cost was determined by the numbers of characters.
"Road sky stone/All alone/Guitar
"Hey Joe" retells the story of the prodigal son who finds trouble everywhere he goes because he's the problem.
Far from home/Drive all day/Clear highway
White sand/Arm tanned/I'm okay..."
"5:05" is a desperate plea in facing loss. The variations of and
elements of fire are employed metaphorically in describing a couple's
relationship in the aptly titled "Fire."
The sensual "Lemon Marmalade" has McDonnell singing:
"...A woman who has kissed someone
The second best cut here, "Luis," is a mournful and moving tale of
lost love amidst a plea for a casket to be built. This one will get to you.
A woman who's been kissed
Walks through the world more beautiful
Than sunshine through a mist
Every step and every look
A sweet warm undertow..."
"Mayday" uses metaphor in describing a young man and woman's first
coupling. Steve Earle's bittersweet "Goodbye Song" dovetails well with
"Mayday," as does the last offering "Softhearted Girl," a lament about
a failed pairing due to the male's Peter Pan Syndrome.
An outstanding factor that makes McDonnell's work appealing is her marvelous
voice--penetrating, vulnerable and emotive. A listener gets the sense McDonnell is re-living the circumstances she is
McDonnell's music makes one think and feel. Thinking and interpreting,
followed by feeling and reacting to the subject matter presented. Shy
away if such responses are
not your cups of tea but settle right in and begin if such
works for you.
Kate McDonnell on vocals and guitar, is backed by Marc Shulman on
electric guitar; Sam Zucchini on drums and bodhran; Beth Reineke on
background vocals; Mindy Jostyn on accordion, violin, harmonica and
background vocals; and Scott Petito on electric, fretless and upright
basses, electric guitar; ebow, octave mandolin, organ, keyboards,
high-string guitar, electric sitar, percussion, cymbals and background
- Tumbleweed - 4:10 (Anne Lindley & Kate McDonnell)
- Hey Joe - 3:46 (Anne Lindley & Kate McDonnell)
- Go Down Moses - 5:03 (Anne Lindley & Kate McDonnell)
- Mercy - 4:15 (Anne Lindley & Kate McDonnell)
- 5:05 - 5:11 (Kate McDonnell)
- Fires - 4:23 (Anne Lindley & Kate McDonnell)
- Railroad Bill - 2:22 (Traditional)
- Lemon Marmalade - 5:55 (Anne Lindley & Kate McDonnell)
- Luis - 3:05 (Kate McDonnell)
- Mayday - 4:43 (Anne Lindley & Kate McDonnell)
- Goodbye Song - 4:30 (Steve Earle)
- Softhearted Girl - 4:15 (Anne Lindley & Kate McDonnell)
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