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Helen Avakian - I Love The Moon

I Love The Moon

Helen Avakian

A review written for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mike Jurkovic
(rnrcurmudgeon@yahoo.com)

Well I'll be damned! Helen Avakian and a rock band bringing her luxurious melodies to a larger and brighter immediacy.

It's been seven years since Vanishing Point—her first studio release—brought Avakian's idiosyncratic, yet dreamy signature mix of classical, folk, and flamenco to the broader audience outside New York's musically rich Hudson Valley region. And in that time it's been a rare and fortunate pleasure watching this artist (a term I revere and don't overuse) come into her own. Which is why, on I Love The Moon, even long time fans will find something new and exciting in the stylistic scope and growth at play here.

Maybe because of or in spite of the band—multi instrumentalist co-producer Scott Petito, drummer Chris Carey, guitarists Marc Shulman & Steve Siktberg—there's a visceral confidence to Avakian's vocal approach that is freer and more playful than ever; allowing her melodies to follow the beat, and not necessarily where her well-informed muse might take them.

And I'll be damned if that isn't Helen singing the blues with a rustic sincerity only a stalwart few could have imagined. Terry Champlin's Bird Flying is a stand out track, as classical guitar, mandolin, and acoustic slide evoke not only the motion of the heart but of the day as well. Couple "Bird Flying" with the invigorating new wave/60's girl pop of Right Now and you'll hear where that motion has carried her.

Just in case that's too much movement for some, Goodbyes, I Hear you Call and the romantic assurance of enticing title track shine a warm, deserving light on the Avakian we've taken to heart: three indelible songs centered around a girl and her guitar, singing what matters most.

Track List:

  • I Want To Be Your Blanket
  • I Love the Moon
  • These Are the Things
  • Fog Ghost
  • Greetings From Asbury Park
  • Right Now
  • I Met a Witch Today
  • Bird Flying
  • I Hear You Call
  • Threshold of Tomorrow
  • McTammy's Jig
  • Goodbyes
Produced by Scott Petito & Helen Avakian

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

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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