A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Shawn Linderman
Listening to Annie Wenz is not your usual folk experience. Combining traditional native instruments of both North and South America with modern and age-old themes, she wraps a warm surrealistic blanket around her songs. She manages this texturing without losing the feel of contemporary folk, the stories of our lives today. Time Is Magic features ten songs and one instrumental piece, all written by Annie (Guy DiVito co-wrote the music on "When Horizon Calls").
Guest artist Brooks Williams' slide guitar on the opening "Dance Under the Moon" is excellent and, along with its haunting spanish chant, makes this cut my favorite. A very close second is "The Dragon"--percussions, pan-pipes and flute place this story about her journey to a Costa Rican volcano firmly in the genre of traditional native music of South America. This song will hook you with it's catchy beat and syncopation.
In contrast to these earthly images, Annie tackles the subject of child abuse in "Little White Lies," the lure of the unknown in "When Horizon Calls" and getting out while the getting's good in "Walk Away." Duke Levine (of Mary Chapin Carpenter's band) lends a skillful hand to the title track, and his guitar and Annie Burns' lovely voice grace "Wild Horses," dedicated to "all the wild women out there."
The instrumental "Journey to Katahdin" is a lovely piano/flute piece inspired by a "100 mile spiritual journey" Annie was invited to share with her Native American friends. Glen Velez's percussions on this are mesmerizing. Birds, rain, waterfalls, rustling leaves, and distant lightning all come to life through the skill of his hands on this sojourn.
Time Is Magic is enfused with the lushness of a tropical jungle, the sparseness of the southwestern deserts, the starkness of a granite mountain face, the gentle softness of a breeze caressing a leaf. Annie Wenz has a rich, vibrant contralto voice and she has penned a most interesting and successful amalgam of images and sounds to be heard in contemporary folk today.
Edited by Paula Gregorowicz