2/26/09

Pristine Beauty from Debra Cowan


DEBRA COWAN
Fond Desire Farewell
Falling Mountain Music 1054

This gorgeous album is reminiscent of mature projects from the likes of Judy Collins, Anne Hills, or Sandy Denny. Cowan covers songs ranging from bluegrass icon Ralph Stanley (“The Darkest Hour’) to Nic Jones (“Ruins by the Shore”) and Richard Thompson (“Jealous Words”).This well-crafted album balances sparse and melancholic arrangements—including superior renditions of “The Night Owl Homeward Turns” and “The Snow is on the Ground”—with unique mash-ups. Cowan describes her cover of Ray Davies’ “Alcohol” a blend of klezmer, honky tonk, and Kurt Weill. Toss in some Spike Jones and that’s about right. The gypsy cafĂ©/jazz/folk cross of “Lili Marlene Walks Away” is another genre-puzzler, and producer Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention) has his fingerprints all over the folk rock “The Rainbow.” At the center of everything is Cowan’s pristine voice, the loveliest flower in a verdant meadow.

1 comment:

blindau said...

lovely description; sends me right out to buy....