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Lenny Solomon - Armando's Pie

Armando's Pie

Lenny Solomon

© 2004

Produced and arranged by Lenny Solomon
Solomon@harvard.edu

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Roberta B. Schwartz
(rschwartz@oeb.harvard.edu)

Lenny Solomon, the lead singer and songwriter behind the Boston-based Solomon Band, takes a break from the group to release a solo recording called Armando's Pie. Armed with an acoustic guitar, a stirring harmonica and a voice that rings of early Dylan, Solomon takes us on a breezy musical journey through satire, love and a bit of history, moving from folk to country and back again.

While there are some serious tunes here (most notably, Gettysburg), this is by and large music to gather friends and family around - stuff to make you smile, sigh and sometimes even laugh out loud.

The recording opens with a well-written, rousing tune called Five More Minutes. Featuring some nice work on both harmonica and guitar, the singer begs for five more minutes to plead his case.

Armando's Pie, the title cut, is a real gem. It tells the story of Armando, an Italian immigrant who has a special talent for making outstanding pizza pies. Solomon provides a bit of magic by adding the bell-like sound of the glockenspiel to the mix.

Solomon adds a rock beat to the tongue-in-cheek warning behind the humor of Global Warning Blues:
Glaciers are all melting, the Arctic's turning green
Polar bears have seen their lairs go floating down the stream
Harp seals have changed color, they're no longer white
They're now bronze complected and extremely uptight
Will it be now or later, when we get a clue
Global warming's coming babe, it's gonna get you.

Solomon evokes the sadness and futility of war in his ballad Gettysburg. While the guitar plays out a simple melody, the lyrics tell a story of waste and horror. It's one of the recording's best cuts.

Solomon's solo outing, Armando's Pie, is a fitting tribute to the songs within as each offers a slice of life. With a voice and guitar style that cover a wide musical range, there is something here for everyone. And...if you get a chance to cross over the Charles River from Boston into Cambridge, do drop in at Armando's and tell them that Lenny sent you.

Track List:

  • Five More Minutes
  • Dead Man Smile
  • Armando's Pie
  • Margaret
  • Global Warming Blues
  • Drinkin' the Blues
  • He's a Cowboy
  • Here With Me
  • The Vegan Song
  • Gettysburg
  • Come Take My Hand
  • Jews in Country Music
  • One More Night
  • Life at the Time

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2005, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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