Too Sad For The Public: Vol 2. Yet And Still – Traditional American Folk Song Stirring by Dick Connette (Story Sound Records) – Album Review
Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Yes, it is a long title but Dick Connette can do whatever he pleases. He is music royalty. A well respected musician, composer, and producer with a long spanning career and a resume that is a mile long. This project is proof of Dick’s talents and respect he garners. So many other talented musicians and vocalists were part of this project.
This album has elements of blues, country, folk, and jazz. It’s put together in such a way that it’s almost experimental. It pushes the envelope and boundaries of what is considered all the genres mentioned above. And the playing is out of this world. Completely loose and open to possibility at the same time. It really has the feeling of a live album. The songs are energetic (even the slow ones) and have that “live quality”.
The playing is just wonderful. On Hey Now (pt. 1), the instrumental track showcases the sheer brilliance and talent of the musicians involved. It begins with a delightful infusion of New Orleans jazz, complete with an abundance of vibrant horns. The melody is recognizable, reminiscent of the popular tune known as “Aiko Aiko”, but it takes on a new life in this rendition.
As the song unfolds, it seamlessly transitions into a captivating jazz saxophone solo. The sheer amount of improvisation and re-interpretation in this section is truly mind blowing. The saxophonist showcases mastery of the instrument, effortlessly weaving intricate melodies and soulful expressions that truly captivate the listener.
What makes this song particularly remarkable is the cohesive interplay between the different instruments. Each musician brings their unique style and technique to the table, creating a harmonious blend of sounds that is both captivating and uplifting. The energy and passion that exudes from their performances is infectious, and it’s impossible not to be swept away by the sheer joy and artistry on display. Hey Now (pt. 1) serves as a testament to the incredible talent and creativity. It demonstrates the ability of musicians to take a familiar tune and transform it into something completely fresh and new. This track is a celebration of musical exploration, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and showcasing the boundless potential of music.
I would be absolutely remiss if I didn’t give a heartfelt shout-out to the incredibly talented vocalist, Anna Egge. She showcases her stunning vocal prowess and undeniable talent on the album. Anna’s voice is nothing short of awe-inspiring, captivating listeners with its unique timbre and emotional depth.
One standout track from this remarkable album is a breathtaking rendition of the timeless folk standard, “Shake Sugaree“. With her unparalleled vocal range and artistry, Anna breathes new life into the song, infusing it with her own distinctive style and musical sensibilities. Her rendition takes the listener on a transcendent journey, where 90s alternative influences seamlessly intertwine with a touch of Billie Holiday-esque blues. With each note she sings, Anna Egge effortlessly conveys a myriad of emotions, from heartache and longing to resilience and hope. Her ability to connect with her audience through her powerful and evocative vocals is truly something magical.
While Anna Egge’s vocals shine on other songs in the album, Chaim Tannenbaum brings a distinctive flavor to Railroad Bill (Pt 2). His voice intertwines effortlessly with the instrumental elements, creating a sublime and captivating listening experience. What truly sets this track apart is the expert instrumentation. The musicianship on display is simply awe-inspiring. The delicate interplay between the guitar, harmonica, synth, and various percussive elements is nothing short of mesmerizing. Each note resonates with emotion, and the arrangement is skillfully crafted to highlight the strengths of all involved.
Too Sad For the Public’s “Vol 2. Yet And Still Traditional American Folk Song-Stirring by Dick Connette” can be described as a treasure trove of authentic American folk songs, carefully crafted and interpreted by Dick Connette and a host of some of the most talented musicians on the planet. Each song is like a thread woven into the rich tapestry of American musical heritage and crating a new and unique signature. Despite its undeniable brilliance, it is surprising that “Too Sad For the Public’s Vol 2” has yet to receive the widespread recognition it deserves. This hidden gem deserves a prominent place in the music industry, as it showcases the beauty and legacy of American folk music in a way that resonates with both old and new audiences.
Listen to the entire album here
You can buy it on Amazon here