A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
By Kim Knoch
The first thing that struck me about Portraits of Innocence, was how wonderful the guitar sounded. The entire album has an incredible acoustic sound and Sandy Ross shines when she sings the Blues. Rudi Ekstein did a masterful job recording the instruments and the mix is very impressive as well. Before reading any of the liner notes, it was evident that Sandy Ross enjoys singing the Blues. I think it's true; you do best at what you like the most.
All of the instrumentation on Portraits of Innocence is tasteful, though I especially enjoyed Tom Ball's harmonica on "Half Empty/Half Full", "You'll Never Run from the Blues", "St. James Infirmary" and "If You Miss Me/This Train". "You'll Never Run from the Blues" is a song I could listen to over and over. Everything comes together on this song: bass, harmonica, guitar and vocals. "Late at Night" is wonderfully arranged. The percussion, saxophone, guitar and strings provide the perfect backdrop for Sandy's versatile voice. "Baby, You Don't Play Fair" has a fine musical introduction and the notes I have written next to "All My Heroes Sang the Blues" are "Cool - way cool - great!"
All my favorite songs on the album were Blues songs. Still, I have no problem in saying that this is a must-have CD for any collector of folk or acoustic music. I enjoyed every bit of Sandy Ross' Portraits of Innocence.
[Edited by: Cynthia A. Harney]
Copyright 1996, Three Rivers Folklife Society.
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