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Lara Herscovitch - Through a Frozen Midnight Sky

Through a Frozen
Midnight Sky

Lara Herscovitch

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com).

Before I say anything else, I have to emblazon the fact in neon script that Lara Herscovitch is a very very good lyricist. There are so many great lines, couplets, and extended metaphors in her work that I hardly know where to start...so let me quote the very first stanza of the very first cut, Drive:

It's the middle of the morning, middle of the night
Middle of nowhere I-95
My hands know this steering wheel better than they wanted to
The price they pay for being able to stay a couple of hours with you

Luckily, the Through a Frozen Midnight Sky disc comes in a lavish presentation, a quadra-fold affair with every single word and you will, trust me, read them all. It's rare to come across poets able to inject such an achingly human and knowing warmth into their work. Every subtlety and nuance is drawn from experience and more aptly notes what so many of us have been through than we often care to admit...and usually sighingly so. Then, too, there are the sly turns of word and phrase (here from Burn):

They are an old book of matches still full of fight
Crouching around every corner waiting to strike
You were so young when it started, the four-alarm blaze
They always fled the scene, you always stayed

She sings and plays guitar but is hugely aided by John Jennings on a multiplicity of instruments in marvelously complementary readings, with his backing vocals sounding like a youthful James Taylor, later abetted by three other musicians on various tracks. Lara's voice is high and clear, sometimes Laura Nyro-esque, occasionally Emmylou Harris-ish, other times jazzy, then quietly introspective and smolderingly contemplative, as in Is it You?, a penetrating self-dialogue. More than once, a Kenny Rankin sense enters the mix, especially in the take on Here Comes the Sun and in her own Mirrors and Smoke. This is her fourth release, and she's opened for Patty Larkin, John Gorka, Cliff Eberhardt, and many heavy hitters, even shared stages with Joe Beck and others. It's obvious that this musician-composer has hit her stride, that her star's still rising, and that Frozen Midnight Sky* (great title!) is far from the last we'll hear from Lara Herscovitch.

Track List:

  • Drive
  • Like I Do
  • Letters from a Ghost
  • Not Enough
  • Lightning
  • Is It You
  • Here Comes the Sun
  • Mirrors and Smoke
  • Get Over You
  • Carry On
  • Charlie Brown Chistmas Tree
  • At the Speed of Time
  • Burn
All songs written by Lara Herscovitch except Here Come the Sun (George Harrison).

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

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Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
 

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