Somewhere in the World

Word of Mouth

Trova Recordings (TR-402)

A review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Sonny Ochs

If you enjoyed Sabia in the 80's, they you will love Word of Mouth's CD, Somewhere in the World. The lead vocals by Libby Harding are riveting. She is equally strong both in English and Spanish. Gary Johnson's keyboard playing has lost none of its fire since he played on Del Shannon's classic, "Runaway," which reached #1 on the charts in 1961. The recording is also enhanced by guest appearances by various former members of Sabia.

This is an eclectic album ranging from soft rock to upbeat Latina to classic folk, and even jazz. There is a wonderful piece called "Frida" that has a jazz saxophone played by Robert Kyle. There are many gently political lyrics which I much prefer to "hit 'em over the head" protest music.

After listening to the CD several times, I realized that "Ramona" in particular drew my attention every time. Its haunting melody, sung in both English and Spanish, has a compelling political message. Another favorite is "Manana," based on writings of Sara Marinez, an expatriate Salvadoran poet who now lives in Los Angeles.

Probably the cut that will get the most airplay is a very creative arrangement of Gary Johnson of a folk medley that includes "Deportee," "Pastures of Plenty," and "The Times They Are A-Changing."

I've seen the CD on Folk-DJ playlists across the country, a testiment to its popularity with serious folkies. The incredible variety of styles will keep your interest through repeated listenings. I personally love the variety of instruments from the South American culture, and the seeming effortlessness of Gary Johnson's keyboard playing. If you want to find Somewhere in the World, write: Word of Mouth, P.O. Box 603, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. You'll enjoy the trip.

Libby Harding - Lead vocals, acoustic guitar, cuatro
Gary Johnson - keyboards, percussion, vocals
Marcel Adjibi - percussion, vocals
Marcisco Stomayor - electric guitar, vocals
also - Ciro Hutrado, Cindy Harding, Kevin Ricard, Joey Heredia, Richie "Gajate" Garcia, Alberto do la Rosa, Robery Kyle, Mari Riddle & Ericka Verba (Sabia).

©t 1995, by Three Rivers Folklife Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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