Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Fall from Grace
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop
Listen to Samples
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A must-have even for NON-blues lovers!
Cindi Morgan | 09/07/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Les Sampou is a wisp of a woman with a powerhouse voice. She also plays a fine, intricate guitar, and tells a story that will pick you up bodily and carry you miles away. In FALL FROM GRACE, her second release, each cut shows her finest gifts in the very best lights.The liner notes begin, "Les Sampou is tough. She's also tender, and smart. And she plays some very tasty guitar. And damn, can she write a song." Elijah Wald's essay suggests the same spare phrasing that hallmark the compositions on this album. From the opening Notes of "Holy Land," a lazy ballad of pretentious white trash, she hooks the listener and starts reeling. The broader strumming accompanying "Alibis" -- "My dad told me that you can't steal second with your foot on first / And I reckon he's right"-- opens out into full instrumentation as the passion builds. "Things I Should Have Said" takes the experience we've all had, of re-thinking a situation we could have handled better, and paints it in the context of a singer's angry musings on a cross-country drive. The soft yearning of a homebound traveller is delicately embellished in "Home Again." And again, you're right there with her, almost unconscious of the deft production so ably supporting the fine story-telling.Sampou is adept at vivid imagery, despite a bare minimum of flowery phrases. Whether it's the childhood exhilaration of "Ride the Line," or the bitter discovery of her best friend's homosexuality and her own betrayal ("Flesh and Blood"), she makes the experiences our own. The aching exhaustion of "I Already Know" paints a woman persuading her heart to let go when her mind knows she should. "String of Pearls" uses the metaphor of an heirloom necklace for the values we don't always appreciate until we've proven their worth to ourselves. "Two Strong Arms" is a gritty anthem of a woman giving herself a stern talking-to-- this one's a personal favorite. (An excerpt doesn't do it justice, folks: you just have to hear it.)I doubt we live in a world where a petite white woman will stand beside B.B. King as a blues icon-- and even Les herself might cringe at the pretension of that image. But for my money, this lady has the stuff of which legends are made. I challenge you to listen to the first cut. I doubt you'll be able to leave without wanting to take her home!"