Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: New Age, Pop, Rock
Largo's concept is a heady one: A song cycle based on Antonin Dvorak's "New World Symphony," which was itself inspired by the Czech composer's love for indigenous American music of the early 20th century. But thanks to the... more »
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Largo's concept is a heady one: A song cycle based on Antonin Dvorak's "New World Symphony," which was itself inspired by the Czech composer's love for indigenous American music of the early 20th century. But thanks to the songwriting savvy of mastermind Rob Hyman (of the Hooters) and the efforts of such special guests as Joan Osborne, Cyndi Lauper, and Taj Mahal, the concept never weighs down the music. Stylistically, the set ranges from the swamp-rock shuffle of "Disorient Express" to the poignantly soaring power balladry of "An Uncommon Love," with a real highlight coming via "Medallion" (which transposes Springsteen-styled workingman's rock to the life of a Pakistani immigrant cabbie). --David Sprague
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Piece of Americana
Larry White | AdultPop.com | 12/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The feeling we got upon hearing this unheralded CD when it was first released a couple of years ago, was similar to the one we got when we first came across "Music From the Big Pink" many years before. It felt as if we had stumbled upon a genuine artifact of Americana. Like "Big Pink", the sound of Largo is fresh, exhilarating, and moving, while, at the same time, hauntingly familiar. It resonates deep within the bones and brings to mind the music of a previous era. The artists involved in the making of this piece (which uses as its touchstone Dvorak's classical piece of the same name), are, similarly, a familiar lot. Members of the underrated Hooters are largely responsible for the musical concept and content. The instruments they use are fun just to say not to mention hear. Mandolin, Nyckelharp, Bowed Dulcimer, Uillean Pipes, Hurdy-Gurdy, Jew's Harp, Cordovox, Udu, and Peckhorn, to name a few. And Taj Mahal with his exuberant singing and barking, Levon Helm with his soulful twang, Cyndi Lauper with her intense yodelling, David Forman (and his alter ego Little Isidor sans Inquisitors), Joan Osborne, Carole King, and the Chieftans contribute in making this a very satisfying
Yikes, CDs don't stay in print very long!
Gregor von Kallahann | 12/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found out last summer that this recording, one that I had always meant to pick up on, was out of print and unavailable. I had just gone to see a staged version of this song-cycle at Vassar College, which featured Cyndi Lauper, Garth Hudson and local legend ("local" being NY's Mid-Hudson Valley, for me) David Forman. Martha Wainwright of the celebrated, musical Wainwright/McGarrigle clan was also in the production, which was little more than a staged reading, actually, but when the music played, it soared. It was only afterwards that I found out that this '98 release is already out of print.I had been so impressed by the production that I was eager to get a hold of the CD. Finally I managed to. I will say that the live version sort of strained to come up with a unified concept. The album has no such problem. Ever since "Sgt. Pepper," concept albums have been loose-knit affairs--thematically or musically held together by a few common but loose strands. There's a lot of talk about America on the recording, and the name "Ramona" crops up in a few songs, but the music itself--rootsy, often haunting Americana--that gives the album its overarching sense of unity.Lauper and Forman are joined on the recorded version by a number of other remarkable vocal talents. Taj Mahal, Willie Nile, Carole King and Joan Osborne are all here, and they all shine. Lauper and Osborne had worked with producer Rick Chertoff and ex-Hooters Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian, who composed much of this song cycle, on their own hit releases. They return the favor on "Largo," and enhance their reputations as serious (as opposed to Top-40) musicians in the process. I hope that someone sees fit to get this fine album back into print. In the meantime, snap up those "limitedly available" copies from Amazon--or wherever else you can score one--ASAP!"
Someone gimme five stones...
JP Wheeler | 02/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't stop singing the praises of this unusual concept album. Simply put it's full of beautiful well crafted music/lyrics that grab you and send your emotions bubbling to the surface. Freedom Ride, White Man's Melody, Largo's Dream, Gimme a Stone...the list goes on and on. Levon Helm singing of his slaying of Goliath sent me scurrying for my Folkways CDs, and who knew Cindy Lauper and Joan Osborne had this in them. Could we be so lucky that Rick and Rob might get this group together again? Here's hoping!"