Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Way Out West
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
Listen to Samples
WAY OUT WEST IS ON MY TOP TEN LIST
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been waiting years for Way Out West to be released on CD. Unless you just hate "folk" or "singer-songwriter" music, this should be in your collection. A young girl's dreams of "the West" mix with a young woman's experiences in this song cycle. Mary's ultimate dissing of the "California girl" in Oh Hollywood is a classic! Yet at heart Mary is sweet without being sacharine. You just wish she was there in the CD player so you could hug her. Way Out West is on my top ten list of all recordings ever made."
Mary McCaslin and the examined life
David Perry | the road to the next big thing | 12/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1974 I was in junior college. (Golden West College in Huntington Beach, if you must know) and I was spending all my time over at the Comer's. I had known Keith and Rhonda since I was about ten years old, and their parents had taken off, renting the family house to the two teenagers. Keith (being handy)had made a sign for the front door that said "boys of bedlam" (another story for another day) and rented out the remaining rooms to various friends. Very soon the house acquired the nickname BEDLAM. Mike Harmon lived there. Mike was the first person I ever saw frail a banjo, he played a Baldwin Pete Seeger model ODE banjo, and had a guitar custom made by David Santos (that he still plays today) One night Michael sat down in the freezing house over a bottle of jack and played me WAITING (on the guitar, singing in his own voice) He followed that by playing the whole first set on Way Out West.
Mary McCaslin had a rough time (as did Michael, as did I) but we went to see Mary play not long thereafter and watched her tune and play and sing. Her gifts are remarkable, not only as a fine interpeter of songs (waiting, let it be me, living without you) but as a writer and instrumentalist. Despite what any other reviewer might say, this Philo record is a masterpiece. The songs are perfect, effective, and will solidly plant the seed of your soul in California, and the seed of California in your soul. There is no getting away from a record like this---it's so...Naked, the instrumentation so bare and the singing so heartfelt.
If you got to see Mary back in the day, then you already own this album on vinyl--it's one of those treasured items. When I was just about hitting bottom in the mid eighties, I remember playing the songs WAITING and CIRCLE OF FRIENDS over and over again, the following few lines hang in me like smoke or like the lines of wind erosion, beautiful in the loss they mark, painful in the beauty they describe:
"and it's hard, the times we're in,
they're as bad, as they have been,
and if it seems, we've come to harm,
I want to die with my baby in my arms"
One Good Friday in Dublin Ireland, In the hotel Bar of the clarence hotel (before it was hip--this must have been 1986) I sang this song to some old boys there, and they taught me "the fields of athen roy" in exchange, my secondhand folk pop song for theirs, just about a fair trade.
Mary, should you ever read this, I have never seen anyone not respond to your singing, you have what it takes, ma'am.
Long road since then, all those boys of bedlam have been around the block a few times, as has mary mccaslin. Today she is a radio personality, but when the muse was on her, she sang down the pillars of heaven. If you have never heard her sing, order this album right now, I don't think you will ever regret it.
Joni Mitchell goes west
Zellerkatz | Waltham, MA USA | 06/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great Stuff! I'm an ardent Joni fan, so placing Mary McCaslin in the same box is praise, indeed. With her haunting voice, Ms McCaslin brings us tales of a young woman moving out west, growing up, being lonesome, finding friends and dating the wrong guys.Without any truly sexual lyrics, this album takes "Sex in the City" out to the country where a promise of better heart times are for the taking. "Young Westly" takes me awayayayay and "A Most Wanted Man" speaks to the heartaches of taking risks in love, all the while knowing it's likely to come to a bad end. "San Bernadino Waltz" echoes and surpasses "Love the One You're With" and "Change Partners" for a story about swapping lovers and freeer love.Without a lot of electronics, back beats or flashy guitars, "Way Out West" is a study in melody, tune and story telling. A "Must Have" for anyone who loves the "Rounder" way of life."