Louise Taylor

(SIG 1241)

Signature Sounds Recording Company
P. O. Box 106
Whatley, MA 10193

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Rose

Ride is a beautiful collection of songs that range from the upbeat and bouncy to the more somber and introspective. Louise Taylor is a singer-songwriter who's been around for a while. With this new release she's really ready to make her mark.

Like her debut recording Ruby Shoes, Ride focuses on simple arrangements wrapped around beautiful vocals and gently caressing melodies. Words are always central to the song. Taylor has a lot to say, but she says it very softly and with great care. Metaphors abound, allusions are everywhere, and the ideas of a true poet bubble up constantly.

There are many beautiful ballads on this collection, but none more touching than Too Tired to Leave. This haunting duet with blues legend Chris Smither speaks volumes about love, loss, sadness, and the overwhelming fatigue that accompanies the end (or possible end) of a relationship. Accompanied by the sweetest guitar melodies, she asks her lover to lay down and rest in her arms. The underlying motif of broken love shows itself with her plea, "[if] I whisper I love you, would you believe I still do?". We have no idea what went on before this episode, but the strong love that must have been there is sharp and clear. We wonder what else there is, and more importantly, what might happen next.

On the very next song, Last Days of Summer, we're treated to a rollicking Celtic-tinged tribute to a time that is about to end. We're reminded that, like the seasons, life has its ups and downs, beginnings and endings. The musicians on this CD are all top notch. Journeyman guitar maestro Marc Shulman makes his subtle presence well known, always there, but never overwhelming. Rani Arbo from the wonderful bluegrass band Salamander Crossing lends her angelic vocals to several songs. Many other New England area musicians and singers help out on this enriching CD.

Louise Taylor is a talent waiting to be discovered. This release should help make that happen.

Edited by Kerry Dexter

Copyright 1997, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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