This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 6/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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"Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all"
-- Alfred Lord Tennyson
"Lifeline," featuring bewitching harmonica backing by Gary Green, is a variation of the grass-is-always-greener syndrome. The protagonist here is always looking for someone better, someone new to placate some long ago wound. However, the woman he leaves behind is either a saint who truly knows what is best for both of them or suffers from her own demons. Allard sings:
...All the ghosts that follow you, all the love you never knew
I was sent here just to save you...
...Babe, I know you better than I know myself
'Cause I can't turn and walk away
Oh, how would I survive? Baby, I'm your one lifeline
And it's you I'm here to save
Oh, it's you I'm here to save"
"La La Rosie Goes" is a brutal depiction of a coupling of 30 years that unfortunately has lasted 3 decades too long. The woman's coping mechanism is flipping a switch and disappearing, not saying or feeling anything, while in the presence of her domineering husband. As she employs this survival technique to a greater and greater degree, she begins losing control, staying disappeared more and more and becoming unable to govern the coming and going. The last lines go:
Leaves of gold and crimson red
So beautiful this dance of death
So radiant yet so unkind
Borrowed time, borrowed time
Do you see me standing here?
Do you watch from heaven's pier?
I swear sometimes your voice I hear
When I feel the wind brush against my ear
Now your eyes light the night sky
And your tears fall from God's own eyes
I feel your warmth in stranger's smiles
On a crowded avenue...
...Nothing in this world is mine
Nothing in this world is mine
But for borrowed time
Jesus walked upon the water
And Helen taught the blind to see
There are those who've known
The face and the feel of the man in the moon
Will a miracle make you speak...
Here in this room is a wall tall and wide
And behind it is your heart
I can't climb over and you won't let me through
Only silence, only silence speaks to you..."
Allard, on vocals and acoustic guitar, is backed by Gary Green on harmonica; Eddie Hall on drums; Sonny Layne on upright bass and vocals; Jeff Saine on lap steel, accordian and vocals; Jim Taggart on acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin and vocals; Robin and Linda Williams on harmony vocals; Kevin McNoldy on harmony vocals; and Dwayne Evans on harmony vocals.
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