Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
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Older, wiser, sadder and richer
J. C Clark | Overland Park, KS United States | 11/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't want to say Mary's voice is an acquired taste; I liked it when I first heard it 20+ years ago. But it is not "pretty", especially these days when the producer and the engineer determine what female singers sound like (and amazingly, they sound so much alike...imagine that!). But Mary is an authentic folksinger, carrying the earth and the wind and the rain in her voice.This CD is even more challenging than her others. On first listen I thought "Oh my, she's lost the ability to sing." But more time has made me realize that these are different songs, sung by a woman who's experienced more bitterness and disappointment than she should have. Not angry, not vicious, not bellicose, she just conveys great sadness and the shock of feeling the befuddled loss that so often accompanies middle age. This is not a quickie to be gulped and consumed, rather, like a fine port that contains great pleasure in the strength and acid and pungency, it is to be sipped and savored. Give her a try. No one sounds more real....and she consistently makes other singers sound like the "pop" they are."
Subtly Addictive and Enduring
Jon B. Thomas | 01/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wandered into Portland's Music Millenium several years back when Mary was giving a free public performance along with another gifted traditional singer, Skip Gorman. Initially, I was more taken with Skip. I still like his music quite a bit. However, the quality of Mary McCaslin's song writing and her sincere and endearing voice also captured me over time.She writes quite honestly and effectively about losing those you love the most. And the pain and loneliness that follow. She does it with compassion and feeling--not with great anger or self-indulgent pity. She's a fine singer and songwriter that deserves far greater recognition. Her songs are extremely honest and revelatory. Listen and see what you think."
Lyrical, sad, and beautiful
abt1950 | usa | 03/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mary McCaslin and her late husband Jim Ringer were staples of the folk circuit in the 1970s, and , according to many music critics, remain vastly underrated. "Broken Promises," released in 1994, was Mary McCaslin's first album in many years. Although the wait was way too long, the end result is well worth it.
McCaslin's work always combined a feel for the open spaces of the West with an intensely personal sensibility. Her voice and her guitar work were unique, influenced by the acoustic folk tradition, but molding it to suit her own purposes. This is still the case in "Broken Promises. " By no means is this a happy album. It chronicles the breakup of McCaslin's marriage to Jim Ringer, and as such is both bittersweet and introspective. These are sad, wistful songs, but they're not bitter. Instead, they reflect the passing of years as a relationship slowly disintegrates and the singer's attempt to get on with life. These songs may reflect McCaslin's own experience, but, like all great songs, they're universal.
It's hard to pick out favorites, since the songs are all so strong. If I had to, I'd probably pick "Ghost Train," for its haunting metaphor , and "The Abyss." McCaslin's version of the Beatles' "Help" is a revelation. One of her strengths has always been her ability to cover other writer's songs and to wring new meaning out of them. But even as I write this review, I'm listening to the CD and different songs catch my attention.
This is one of those rare albums that reveal something new with every listening.