Monday, September 17, 2007

by bluenorther #4

Larry Murante "Water's edge" 2000

Water's Edge, Larry Murante's second release, settles itself firmly on the country side of folk music; with a veritable army of musicians at his back, Murante, a singer-songwriter from Seattle, creates a glossy collection that, while performed well, is just a little too slick for my taste.

From the opening notes of the acoustic slide guitar on "Katie's House," this CD slips into the country mood and never really leaves it. "Between the Road and the River" makes an attempt to shake off that label with its intricate guitar rhythms, but the effort is spoiled by the early addition of full-band flourishes. "Streets of Seattle" suffers from this same over-working; the lyrics of this song suggest something much harsher than the well-developed presentation Murante gives us. It's this slickness (for lack of a better term) that keeps this CD from really moving me; everything is too polished, to the point of sameness throughout the entire CD.

That's not to say that the entire CD isn't worth a listen. The mandolin on track 5, "Those Days," creates a beautiful old-world feel, while "John Korman" sneaks in with a funky bass line that will be sure to get you moving in your seat. The final track, though, is where the fun really begins, as Murante rips into a little boogie-woogie "Chumstick Chow."

It's these last tunes that really capture Murante's voice, which is better suited, in my opinion, to more playful, upbeat tunes. The softer, introspective tracks do nothing to showcase Murante's strong voice; rather, his delivery on these, while thoughtful and steady, comes across as lacking heart and intensity.

As a whole, Water's Edge is well put together; however, there's little room for the real heart of the music to shine through. It's as though Murante spent too much time in the studio, pushing these songs past the point of being "done," to the place where they all start to sound the same. Here's hoping that Murante's next CD hovers just on this side of polish -- sometimes it's the rough that's really the diamond.


Priscilla Herdman, Anne Hills, & Cindy Mangsen
"Voices of Winter" 1997

bluenorther said...
Those of you who can afford to buy the CD, please, do so.Even this one song - 'Hot Buttered Rum' is worth the whole price, but there are some other gems too.
Artists' Websites:

Mark D. Moss (for Herdman * Hills * Mangsen):
We would really appreciate it if you would remove the download pirate link your listed for for the trio's album. It's in print and still for sale by the label and the artists. While the nice comments in your blog are welcome, uploading and distributing in-print material -- especially by indie artists struggling to pay bills and pursue their art -- is more than a little counter productive. If you like the work Anne, Priscilla and Cindy are doing, why not direct folks to one of the many legal download sites (eMusic, iTunes, CDBaby) that offer this music while seeing the artists are compensated for their work.

P.S. Though less directly my business, same goes for Dick Gaughan, Lunasa, Gordon Bok and the other artists on the same page.


Anonymous bluenorther said...

It looks, some people never learn.Instead of Taking Off albums from the blogs, you should Post the albums here.The artists would only benefit from this.Indeed, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and, it's a pity such a good artists are patronized by some short-sighted representatives.

28 September, 2007 20:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last time I checked, Pricilla, Anne and Cindy weren't getting too much airplay or exposure. In fact, I dare say most people who run accross this blog have never heard of them and appreciate the introduction from bluenorther. Many times these 'posts' are simply a way for music to be heard that is not normally and should be-whether it is out of print or not (and most of the music posted here is out of print). Every album that I have heard on this blog that I enjoyed I have purchased if it is still available. I have also bought other works not listed on this blog, and copies for others as gifts, because of what I have heard on this blog. I cannot speak for others downloading music, but I can say that music blogs are often forums for people who love music and appreciate the artsits- and often support them when they can. If the post is removed here, people can simply go to a p2p site like limewire or kazaa- neither of which promotes or provides any info about artists at all. Because I have not heard Pricilla, Anne and Cindy's album I will not be purchasing anything from them. I might, however, visit their websites- thanks to bluenorther and Lizardson. Oh and Mark, I am also a musician- struggling only by the limitations of my music not being heard.

15 October, 2007 15:02  

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