Adina Even-Zohar – For The First Time

Zenith, Model B723 Lazy Sunday around the manse.  Church, then a little work on the hobbies, which include restoring an old radio – a 1958 Zenith AM/FM table model (cabinet turned out nice, but still nothing but static out of the speaker…), and some music while working.

And then writing about the music.  Some of it was sort of…”meh,” and we won’t be talking about that.

But some…


Adina Even-ZoharAdina Even-Zohar – For The First Time
(in a long time)

Released – 2012

Some albums have such a classic sound – a combination of the material and the vocalist – that I want to run ‘em through a filter to get that old-time radio ambiance.

Such is the case with Adina Even-Zohar, and this album, comprising a dozen classics and one original tune.

This is lean-back listening, plush and velvety; so rich, you can almost feel the texture of Ms. Even-Zohar’s voice coming out of the speakers.

Adina Even-ZoharFavorites here include Irving Berlin’s “Let’s Face The Music And Dance,” along with “The Very Thought Of You,” and “I Wanna Be Seduced,” written by Gary Richard Tigerman, whose story is a whole other story in itself.

Ms. Even-Zohar says the decision to sing professionally was a mid-life one.

Could have fooled me. Sounds like she’s been doing this all her life.

Very highly recommended.

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Speaking of lazy Sundays – I recently reviewed some great music from a young Canadian singer, Renée Yoxon.  One of the things she does at her blog/website with some frequency is suggest playlists of music to fit the mood, via the website 8tracks.com.  Here’s her most recent – fit for a lazy Sunday.

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Mindy McCready – 1975-2013

Mindy_McCready via WikipediaNews today of the apparent suicide of former country music star Mindy McCready.  Police were called to her Heber Springs, Arkansas, home on Sunday after neighbors reported hearing gunshots.

Reports are saying that McCready died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

She was 37.

McCready led a troubled life that ended too soon, the details of which you can find most anywhere this morning.

This is the song that first charted, in 1996.  She was 21.  I’d rather remember this than that.

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Renée Yoxon/Mark Ferguson – Here We Go Again

Yangon at dawn - 12 Feb 2013Hello from the road again, where I seem to have more time at two in the morning to really listen to music than I’ve been finding at home lately. Jet lag does that to you, I suppose.

My son (the musician) says profound things all the time. Well, profound to me, anyway. One of the things he said when we were listening to something together was something like – “…you can do great covers of classic material all you want. But if you’re going to be remembered, you’ve got to write good stuff, too.”

Something like that.


Renée Yoxon - "Here We Go Again"Renée Yoxon/Mark Ferguson –
Here We Go Again

Released – December 2012

A couple of years ago, I wrote of a young Canadaian artist, Renée Yoxon, and a debut album backed by a single guitar; mostly covers, with a pair of original tunes I called “hand crafted.” I called her audacious, and said I’d look forward to more of her work – both as a singer and songwriter.

She’s back, with a bigger backing combo, and this time – a dozen originals.  The theme, according to Ms. Yoxon, is love, “…and loss, and love again.” Is experience the reason this sophomore outing suffers no slump? Perhaps. Of love and loss, Ms. Yoxon writes, “I am lucky to have so much of both in my life.”

Such is the stuff that makes art.

But first, the band. Pianist Mark Ferguson writes and produces with Ms. Yoxon, joined by René Gely (that lone guitar player from the first album), Jeff Asselin on drums, and Craig Pedersen on trumpet; Joel Kerr on bass and Frank Lozano on tenor sax. They’re stars by not trying to be stars; and it’s clear (to me, anyway) they’re just as taken with Ms. Yoxon as she with them.

Renée YoxonA comparison with a young Susannah McCorkle isn’t out of the question for me. There’s that same caress of a lyric; sensitivity, with a wistfulness that sells the material with a conviction that can’t be conjured up without the experience. With this album, Ms. Yoxon demonstrates talent as a singer, composer and lyricist worthy of recognition far beyond her native Ottawa.

My favorite of the dozen is “Have We Been In Love Before,” which manages at once to be both playful and wistful:

Have we been in love before? | My heart aches when our eyes meet.
You’re a stranger but I can’t speak. | Have we been in love before?

You don’t do this kind of work without the experience. I think it’s called paying dues.

Great stuff, this. Highest recommendation.

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I’m back in Myanmar this week, eleven and a half hours out of whack, with connectivity that’s so, so slow. I mentioned Susannah McCorkle up there, and thought it only fitting to also mention the biography, “Haunted Heart,” written by Linda Dahl. I’d recommend that book, if you’re a fan.

Also perhaps, to close with a clip that includes Ms. McCorkle. Hope you can see this better than I could – streaming video is sort of out of the question here.

It was used over the closing credits of Jerry Seinfeld’s movie, “The Comedian.” Headed back home this weekend, perhaps with some more time to write of the things to which I listen.

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Patty Andrews: 1918-2013

Patty Andrews – in the center of the photo – the last surviving Andrews Sister, died today at the age of 94.  Together, the sisters sold more than 80 million records, starting with the 1937 hit, “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” which peaked at #15 in 1941, and was covered by Bette Midler, who took it to #8 in 1973.From Wikipedia, under Creative Commons License

The Associated Press quotes Ms. Midler today – “This is the last of the trio, and I hope the trumpets ushering (Patty) into heaven with her sisters are playing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”

The sisters entertained soldiers during World War Two, and performed with some of the biggest acts of the day, perhaps none more memorable (to me) than the turns with Bing Crosby – “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby” in 1944, “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive” in 1945, and “South America, Take It Away” in 1946

Bigger than all of that, though, was the song the sisters took to #1 for ten weeks in 1945, “Rum And Coca-Cola.”

But there isn’t a version of that on YouTube.  So, from the 1941 Abbott and Costello film, “Buck Privates,” here’s “Bugle Boy.”

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