This delightful CD by Canadian singer-songwriter Heather Horak is among the most uplifting musical treasure I've heard in a long time. Blues, funk, do-wop, folk-mix and match for flavor, toss in lots of humor and cheek, then serve with generous helpings of toe-tapping or spins on the dance floor. And grins-if you fail to smile or laugh upon listening, chances are you are in need of pine box.
Several tunes conjure childhood memories of old-time cartoons: visions of dancing kitchen utensils splashing and dancing about as they make their own beautiful cake, or a goofy armada of critters building a Rube Goldberg device that automatically raids the fridge and delivers its contents to their den. And like the music in those old cartoons, Heather's tunes are quite intricate and complex beneath their exuberant charm and simple melodic flavor.
Poutine - An expatriate New Yorker, Heather gives tribute to one of Canada's unique fast foods (they have some unusual sandwich spreads, too).
Lucky Charm - A lilting clarinet weaving in and out gives this tune a wonderful 30's-40's feel. This is a little gleeful ditty celebrating the wonderful, lottery-winning feeling that accompanies having and loving a special someone in your life.
Has Anybody Seen Him? (The Elvis Song) - A humorous ballad of the mysterious disappearance of an Elvis bust from a local joint, suspiciously coincident with the engagement of an out-of-town band. Growly trombone and throaty saxophone by Art Katona and Peter Cancura lend humorous suspense to the quirky tale.
Phantom Man - A soft, mellow love song. You can easily envision a young woman in bed, dappled moonlight gently flowing across her face as she muses on the perfect love she knows is out there.
Crush Diet - Bring out the dancing food cartoons, lithely waltzing across the floor, bowing and pirouetting and just having a high ol' time! Horak wittily portrays images anyone dieting has endured!
Substitute - Jazzy, do-wop up-tempo scamper through the childhood game of "get the substitute teachers." Heather gathers all the stunts and pranks of childhood and wraps them all up in a bundle of fun.
End of the Night - Back to bluesy, mellow tones as the evening ends, everyone heads home, and melancholy rests gently on the shoulders of the Irene, the bartender.
Poem - A very small song: just Heather, her guitar and a few lines of her lovely poetry.
Heather Horak has a lovely, sweet voice that she "ages" quite consciously according to the subject of her songs. At times childlike, at others sophisticated and knowing, she is facile with a range of personal milieus. And as the last note finishes, one leaves her theater fully satisfied with the journey.
Page design by David N. Pyles