I don't know who decided to start this CD out with a duet bass 'n voice intro soon letting onto brushed drums in the first cut, I've Got the World on a String, but, whoever it was, give that sage a raise 'cause it perfectly lays naked a concurrent frailness and confidence in Mickey Freeman's voice. Once the band bounces in, she waxes in strength and vigor quite rapidly, but, even as the song and her innovations progress, you know from whence they sprang: an aesthetic as vulnerable as it is impressive. That first part is just beautiful. By the time the cut winds down, you're fully ready to devour the rest of Livin' the Dream.
You can't tire of the Great American Songbook, and Freeman chose a dozen savory selections brightly and captivatingly accompanied by her trio band, gents who play with sensitivity, affection for the immortals, and a good deal of perspicacity. Three sessioneers also appear on several cuts, adding an extra dash of spice, one of them Duke Robillard, who's always a welcome player no matter what the style or venue. What most distinguishes this release, though, is the combination of Freeman's gorgeous tone and her upbeat, warm, sweet musical personality. Even when tackling a wistful number like More than You'll ever Know, one clearly hears not a touch of darkness but instead a genuine pining desire for what's right and good…despite not being able, perhaps, to attain it. Ah, the blues!
The most appropriate single word for this CD is, coincidentally enough, 'dreamy' even when swinging like a whirlwind, as in It's All Right with Me. Then catch what she does to Surrey with the Fringe on Top, shifting it from that way cool redneck near-yelp and croon to Lani Hall Manhattan satin, a New York night full of good things, delectable intimations, and love. Not a single flaw exists in the recording or performances, and I doubt you're going to settle for a single listen, 'cause I sure ain't.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles