NANCY CASSIDY – Memphis (Twitter Twatter Music TTMCD107)

nancyAlthough she’s had the most success (at least in the States) with her albums for children and young families (you may not know the name, but she wrote ‘Chicken Lips And Lizard Hips’, better known through Springsteen’s live sets), the Californian also has a respected career as a folk singer and songwriter, her voice warm and soulful with shades of the more seasoned Judy Collins, Tracy Nelson and even a little Baez while listening to the melody line of the plaintive acoustic ‘We Walk With Grace’ you might suspect that John Prine numbers among her influences.

Although rootsy Americana is the bedrock, she delivers a varied set of bruised love songs, opening with the gentle sway of ‘Backwater Blue’, echoing its mood with the wistful, cello and pedal steel accompanied ‘Déjà Vu Of The Skin’ and the slow waltzing ‘Fire In The Night’, but also turning in the finger-snapping tuba, clarinet, trumpet  and piano Dixieland jam ‘Come On In’, a blues gospel ‘Salvation In The Truth’ ‘Broken Wing Blues’’ piano boogie and the piano back soulfully drawled title track with its swelling trumpet flourishes, soaring harmonies and melodic evocation of Dylan’s ‘You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere’ taken at a  slower Robbie Robertson tempo.

After keeping the little ones entertained for so many years, it would be a pity if more grown ups didn’t discover her too.

Mike Davies

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