Weeping Wood Music LM1512
P.O. Box 9974
Seattle, WA 98109
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 4/00
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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In Larry Murante's second release, he fulfills the role of the yeoman singer/songwriter as he calls on and presents memories, life events and observations from his and other's lives. The larger question though, as with all artists, is does he make them compelling and interesting? The answer is yes.
Employing intermittent acoustic and electric guitar, piano, organ, dobro and mandolin backing, and mixing harder, rock-tinged cuts with quieter songs, Murante also displays an appealing voice that contains an emotional pitch that works well with his material.
"Between the Road and the River" depicts the bonds, visible and invisible, that tie us to people and places we have seemingly left behind. Murante sings:
"...Oh, this Delaware River's
rushin' mud downstream
Haven't stood on this bank for years
We would walk between
that road and this river
'Til the day I moved out of here...
Where would I be if I'd have stayed here?
Have I really left this place at all?
Where are you now? Who do you love?
Do I really want to know?...
Why are these geese acting like they know me?
Look like a bunch of old friends of mine
There's a spell in this air that still owns me
You can't break it with miles or time..."
Turning a bit sly, Murante tells of the effect that a mentally ill man with a machete has on others in downtown Seattle with "Streets of Seattle:"
"...And when the SUBurban soccer mom
Called the Mayor's office that day
And suggested swat team sharpshooters
Could put all of this man's miseries away...
Oh the police chief was so nervous
'Cause they've made mistakes before
And all those latte swilling bystanders
Can turn ugly if they get bored..."
The stages of life, plus the willingness to accept and the resignation to endure the given, drives "I Got Used To It." Murante begins:
"We were as tight as ink
And a fountain pen
We said we'd write our story
To the very end
We were a trashy little novel
Brought in lots of tears
Never made best seller
We've been out of print for years
And I got used to it..."
Profiling the teen years, the twenties, the feelings of frustration and incompleteness, and finally a decision to change, Murante goes on:
"...I used to tend my garden
With fear and shame
Blacked out the sun
I held back the rain
Now I don't hold on to my regrets
Try not to settle for the second best
Just brings me closer to a life
I would love to get used to
Yeah, a life I'd love to get used to
Now you and me are like ink
And a fountain pen
We're gonna tell this story
Like there is no end
'Cause I can love so much better
Than I did before
So much ground yet to cover
You and me got
So many secrets to explore
And we'll get used to it."
Elevated by sweet mandolin backing, "Those Days" tells the tale of a pair of young musicians full of fire and fury. One eventually shifts to other endeavors, the other continues on:
"...I still send my songs
To Nashville sometimes
And as of yet
There's still no reply
But I change my strings
For every single gig
While yours are gettin' rusty
You say it ain't your thing anymore."
"This Ship" is loving ode to the beauty and wonder of being in the right relationship. Murante sings:
"I think more about devotion
The more I look at you
You say love is just like
One big ocean blue
We've been castaways and holdouts
For some far and distant shore
When this ship was all
That we were looking for
If you ask if I'll go with you now, I will, I will..."
A relative newcomer, Murante's off to a solid start and demonstrates the talent necessary to carve out a niche in the folk genre. He's a solid songwriter and has the ability to tie music and lyrics together into a pleasing package.
Murante on lead vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica is backed by David Lange on piano and organ; Dan Mohler on bass; Walter White on bass and background vocals; Dave Heath on drums; Orville Johnson on dobro; John Reischman on mandolin; Mike Mattingly on electric guitar; Lee Silberkleit on electric guitar; Janis Carper on background vocals and acoustic slide guitar; Patrice O'Neill in background vocals; Connie Bigelow on background vocals; and Allison Roberts on background vocals.
All songs written by Larry Murante.
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