Follow Your Own Road

Maria Sangiolo

Signature Sounds Recording Co.
P. O. Box 106
Whately, MA 01093

A review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
By Rona Edwards

I made a detour on a desert road,
met a prince who turned out to be a toad,
he fooled my heart, talkin' sweet and low
and before dawn I was on another road...

So Follow Your Own Road and when you reach the be
take that road like the hand of your best friend
It'll teach you well, though you may go wrong
Follow Your Own Road, it'll surely make you strong."

- From FOLLOW YOUR OWN ROAD - Maria Sangiolo

I had heard about Maria Sangiolo on the Folk_Music board on the Internet. I had heard that her sweet crystal pristine voice reminds people of Joan Baez. I had heard she's making a big splash in the New England area but I had never actually heard her...until now, and I wasn't disappointed.

To those who compare her to Joan Baez...I'd say yes, I can see that. I also see so much more. True, Sangiolo's lucid, pure tones remind one of Baez or Judy Collins, but her music also holds the thoughtfulness of a Tish Hinojosa and the depth of a Patty Larkin. From the encouraging, uplifting title song, FOLLOW YOUR OWN ROAD, to the lilting and poignant BROKEN ANGEL, "When all you hear is a Broken Angel, a quiet voice that softly sings. What you hear is not an angel, but your song, your song awakening," Maria Sangiolo's voice reverberates vibrantly as she weaves tales of our life, our choices, our dreams, in this contemporary world.

In NEW YORK CITY, Sangiolo tells us of her childhood friend whom she had planned to room with in NYC while they performed on Broadway. We can all identify with the great aspirations we had as starry-eyed teenagers, only to realize 15 years later that our friends took another path and that those dreams were never realized.

It's fifteen years later now,
we meet for lunch downtown
you say you feel so strange
as though we never changed

we trip and fall together,
we scrape our knees
we hit the ground,
we bend, we lean

'Cause we swore we'd live together in New York City
Broadway bound, just you and me.

In the touching SHE'S FINALLY LEAVING, Sangiolo paints a picture of a couple breaking up, wanting to come together but not knowing how. The artist creates the image from both the male and female points of view.

"He/She could have any girl/man in the whole wide world a girl/man he's dreaming of He/Shecould have any girl/man in the whole wide world but he/she can't have the one he/she loves..."

Sangiolo has the knack for taking a story and making it very personal, yet making it familiar enough for all. That is the true mark of a good songwriter. In FERTILITY, probably one of the most intimate looks at a woman's biological time clock ticking away, she states quite plainly and simply, "There is no such thing as Fertility forever." She takes it farther by wondering as every woman does, if she'll ever be a mother.

My mother was a mother, and her mother was a mother and I wonder if I'll ever be a mother someday Next year we'll be married, I'm not getting any younger, you say we don't have to decide right away But I feel my body changing and my energy is waning while I work to make a living of the thing I love the most I wonder if my love is good enough to be a mother and if I had a lovely daughter would she suffer like most?"

With this thirteen song CD, Sangiolo surrounds herself with great musicians, among them, Lynne Saner and Chris Smither doing backup vocals. Production is top notch thanks to John Curtis, formerly of the Poussette Dart Band, who produced alongside Sangiolo. Curtis also plays the mandolin, electric and acoustic guitars as well as some backup vocals on the CD.

There are many wonderful lyrics on this album to quote but I won't bog down the reader with my love for words. However, suffice it to say:

Not the love of Power but the Power of love
it'll keep your life going
not the love of power but the power of love
it'll keep your life going
and you're going, you're going.

- Power by Maria Sangiolo

I can only hope that Maria Sangiolo will keep going, I can't wait to hear what else she has in store for us.

Copyright 1997, by Three Rivers Folklife Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior written permission and attribution.

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