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Beth Lodge-Rigal - Children on a Ride

Children on a Ride

Beth Lodge-Rigal

Beth Lodge-Rigal
P. O. Box 6657
Bloomington, IN 47407

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Susanne Millsaps

This is an album for people who like lyrics, who find wordplay and storytelling interesting. That's not to say it's not musically appealing; it is, very much so. But its strength lies in Lodge-Rigal's ability to paint a picture with just a phrase or two.

All the songs are written by Lodge-Rigal, and topics range from reminiscences of childhood to graffiti, from death and loss, to the process of songwriting. While there is no lyric sheet, her articulation is clear, and it's easy to pick out the words. In the eerie Writing on the Wall, she sings of "the dark side of promise down the hall, and writing on the wall..." and asks "who sees the warnings and last calls, of writing on the wall?" In the more upbeat-sounding Keep A-Walkin, she talks of a cast of characters, including one who "shoots the snowfall with his Nikon camera" and one who passes his time in front of his huge big-screen t.v. Lodge-Rigal acknowledges it's "a ragged road leading to and from these broken hearts," but stresses the importance of keeping on keeping on. And the intricate guitar work of Quiet as Snow captures the peaceful, intimate feeling of sitting up at night with a loved one, watching the flakes swirl under a streetlight.

Throughout, the production is lush, multi-layered, and elaborate, but still clean enough not to obscure those aforementioned lyrics. Lodge-Rigal's voice brings the words to the listener in a rich alto, and the drums, bass, mandolin, organ, harmonica, piano and organ, and various bells, chimes and shakers underline the voice without adding clutter or distraction. While a few of the songs are slow and a bit melancholy, many have a happy lilt, and some, like her tribute to Edna St. Vincent Millay, are positively rowdy toe-tappers. The album an overall warmth, leaving the listeners feeling as though they'd spent the last hour with an old friend comfortable, warm, and easy.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2003, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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