Tales From Sixth & Clinton

Gregg Cagno

Zesty Records
Box 541061
Orlando, Florida
email: zesty@pobox.com

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Moshe Benarroch
(moben@internet-zahav.net)

How I missed those vinyl records this time... If this CD had two sides I think I'd have worn the first side out in a week. The first 5 songs out of the 10 in this disc are so strong that they make you want to sing all day long and to tell your friends that the world is wonderful until they tell you to shut up!

Cagnos' voice has been compared to James Taylor's. I didn't hear Taylor's influence in his voice, rather I heard it in his songwriting and guitar playing. I found his voice closer to Stephen Bishop or Christopher Cross, sometimes to David Wilcox. His is a very gentle voice. Cagnos' music is mostly acoustic quiet songs, with two very rocking songs, which I didn't like very much, on side two.

To this I must add my admiration for the violin of Carol Sharar (who was featured also on Christian Bauman's CD). She has such wonderful playing that in every song where she appears she seems to make the song. Something like the signature sounds of Sneaky Pete Klainbow or Lloyd Maines, so that whenever they appear in a song you can't possibly think of that song played in another way. Carol Sharar, remember that name.

Junkyard's Reunion bears a strong resemblance to Pete Nelson's Norman. Cagno sings:

I went shopping with my dad.
It was the longest time we'd had
In quite a time, you see we don't talk that much
We don't call much, don't write
It's ok. It's not like we fight."
It is beautiful quiet song in which you feel the relationship between father and son and song.

Mingus Died in Mexico was co-written with Christian Bauman (they are both part of Camp Hoboken). It is a beautiful song about the jazz player Charles Mingus, and this version, although very different from Bauman's (you couldn't imagine two more different voices) is quite beautiful too:

The water rips a steady line
From the subtle chime of a suicide
Spiced tamales and skins of wine
On the gringo beach at siesta time
Staccato notes stacked in twos
Scratch the sky with Mitchell Blue
Sparkling sands that shift and grow
Mingus died in Mexico.

This is Cagno's second CD, and surely this is a very good one. This is a man with a future.

Song List:

  • Mandolin Moon (Brody-Cagno)
  • Hollywood comes to Hoboken (Cagno)
  • Junkyard Reunion (Cagno)
  • Thunderstorms (The Florida Song) (Cagno)
  • From Here (Cagno)
  • The Grind (Cagno)
  • When I'm Dancing (Ginger) (Cagno)
  • Mingus Died in Mexico (Bauman- Cagno)
  • Ode to Mrs. Claus' Joy (Cagno)
  • Thank You Tune (Cagno)
  • Hoboken Lullaby (Cagno)

Playing time: 45 minutes

Edited by Kerry Dexter
(riosur@aol.com)

Copyright 1998, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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