Pam Rossi is the host of the Saturday and Sunday morning show Over Easy on WCSX 94.7 in Detroit, Michigan. As the liner notes state, "From the deeper cuts from Classic Rock artists to the independent label musicians, and Michigan based artists, WCSX and Over Easy are proud to provide an outlet to expose talented people to a large listening audience." This is their second A Few of Our Favorites compilation and the sale of this CD benefits Gilda's Club in Metro Detroit whose mission is "to create a community where men, women and children with all types of cancer and their families can enhance the quality of their lives through support, networking and education."
Unlike many radio-station compilations that release on-air performances by the various artists, A Few of Our Favorites Volume 2 contains mostly previously released material donated by the artists. Only seven of the 16 tracks were recorded live in WCSX studios. This might be a disappointment to many at first, but I'm here to tell you that this is one mighty fine collection of music.
There are the more recognizable names on the disc. Dar Williams contributes one of her lesser known songs It Happens Every Day" from her 2000 album The Green World. Don Conoscenti provides a stunning solo version of his The Other Side — the version on his album Paradox of Grace" features the background vocals of Ellis Paul. The Chenille Sisters take the listener on a trip back to the girl groups of the 1940s with their homage to Chocolate: "A toll-house cookie is better than noogie." Peter Mayer's Brand New Harley is a funky acoustic romp.
Ironically, it is Living Soul & The Pearl Divers that submit the song most likely to be recorded by Jimmy Buffett. Their Hideaway is about a sailor finding the girl of his dreams and taking her to his hideaway on the Spanish Isles. The Carribean flavor and harmonica make this a pleasant summer song to hum along to. The album closes with the jazzy Angelo's, which could probably serve as the theme music for Over Easy: "Oh what a wonderful thing to do. Eggs over easy, hashbrowns and you."
Although most would be tempted to buy Volume 2 because of the name recognition of the nationally known performers, the real treat is the high quality of the local artists that contribute songs. Fans of fine acoustic guitar instrumentals, will enjoy Bob Geric's Prelude, Doug Wood's Journey, and Harvey Reid's Racing the Storm. My favorite discovery from this album, however, is Jill Jack, a singer-songwriter Michigan rocker that would make Bob Seger proud. Her contribution Does You No Good to be Good is a sad country-rock song. That one song inspired me to check out her web site (http://www.jilljack.com), listen to her MP3s, and order her CDs.
The liner notes in the CD booklet could be better. Although web sites or email addresses for the artists are provided, little other information is included. A brief biography, especially for the local Michigan artists, could have been easily included. Information such as the album the previously released material comes from or the date the on-air performances were recorded are absent. Nevertheless, the booklet does not detract from the main message of this CD, which is the music. Those that enjoy collections of music, especially from quality local artists, will enjoy listening to this disc.
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