A review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
By Mark Horn
Some reviews take months to write because the music is unusual or difficult to grasp; or maybe just because I'm lazy or blocked. Other reviews write themselves almost with the first listen. ONE MORE SONG is one of those easy reviews.
The folks at Philo/Rounder Records have put together a compilation album to benefit struggling artists and Club Passim, the Mecca of American folk music. My recollections of Passim include Christine Lavin doing her song about Prince Charles and Princess Di. Her wit and enthusiasm filled that small Cambridge room. Lavin's contribution to this album, "The Voice On The Relaxation Tape" is a scream - just what you would expect from the first lady of contemporary lyric humor. By the way, Charlie is free again so, Christine, I guess you're up to bat.
ONE MORE SONG is filled with wonderful ballads. Highlights include "On The Phone With My Sister," another touching personal story from Catie Curtis; the marvelously inspiring duo "Solo el amor" by Rosi & Brian Amador; and speaking of duos, Bill Staines works his special magic with Jeanie Stahl on a transcendent song of home, "Sweet Sunny South." There actually are no weak cuts on this album.
The liner notes include a thoughtful history written by Boston Globe critic and former Club Passim performer Scott Alarik. He tells the story of this little basement club just off Harvard Square and the Donlins, who for so many years pored their lifeblood into its care and furthering its mission. This album is a memorial to their vision and the music that Club Passim continues to foster.
Lest you think ONE MORE SONG is just a fundraising stunt, DON'T - the music is a great listen for its own sake. Though the proceeds go to the Folk Community Trust Fund of the Folk Arts Network, your purchase will make a splendid contribution to your music library as well. Just check out the all-star line-up.
[Editted by David Schultz]
Copyright 1996, Three Rivers Folklife Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior written permission and attribution.