Reviews linda discs


 


whatever

Immediately on receiving a copy, I fell in love with "Live in Old Smokey," one of the best concert albums I've ever heard. The more I listen, the better it gets. Certainly, an incredible performance from Linda Lewis, whom I've never had the pleasure of seeing live.

There are sixteen concert performances from last year in London, including five from "Second Nature," six classics, three new songs, even a song from the musical, 'Showboat.' Surprisingly, there's only one selection from "whatever," which happens to be my favourite song, and none from "Kiss of Life." Regrettable, but it's only 74 minutes.

The classics are impressive, updating melodies I've heard numerous times, without sacrificing their original energy. "Granddaddy's Calypso" evolved from "My Granddaddy Could Reggae" on 1975's "Not A Little Girl Anymore." Since then, Linda undoubtedly learned that granddad was not Jamaican. Now this is a great, all-out Calypso tune. My only quibble is with "paleface people." After much consideration, I suggest she change it to "Yankees," as dem people is.

"Moon and I" is a beautiful adaptation of a Gilbert and Sullivan tune [from "Woman Overboard"] that sounds even better live, showcasing Linda's amazing pipes. She always seems so relaxed that her work appears effortless.

The new songs are wonderful, especially "I Keep A Wish," where I learn more about Linda's innermost thoughts than I have over thirty years of fanship.

Her band creates a sort of jazzy Latin flavour. They are excellent and, according to Linda, cute.

Did I mention never seeing Linda in concert? That's why I enjoy the tentative introductions, such as a bit of understatement before her great "I'm In Love Again." She sounds like a sweet woman everyone should get to see live at least once, even me. And she definitely merits a Grammy for career achievement and more.

Linda Lewis is one of the greatest living artists, IMHO. Her music is always expressive and original. Her voice could be the world's best, certainly one of them. She sounds better today than ever, and that's compared to "amazing," back in the mid-seventies. I own almost her entire catalogue on CD. Anything I'm missing is not due to lack of trying.

Each project is pure joy on plastic. Linda sure can sing! I love her music. I love Linda Lewis.

 

  1. For love's sake
  2. I don't do don't
  3. I'm in love again
  4. Waving
  5. Old Smokey
  6. I keep a wish
  7. Love plateau
  8. Do you know dino?
  9. Moon & I (Gilbert & Sullivan; lyrics, Miller & Rost)
  10. Far cry
  11. Rock a doodle do
  12. Grandaddy's calypso
  13. Sideway shuffle
  14. Can't help lovin' that man of mine (Rodgers & Hart)
  15. Love inside
  16. In the heat
All songs by Linda Lewis, except 9 and 14.
Recorded and mixed by Neil Warnock for Streetwalker, Ltd.
Victor, Japan, 2005. Time: 74'21

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