Don't be fooled for a minute. The simple and straightforward approach that Eve Goldberg brings to her music is deceptive. There are fields of oil beneath the landscape she paints, a wealth for the taking. You don't notice it at first. That is the point. It sneaks up on you, this depth in the guise of simplicity. It is not genius, but that is the genius. It is what it is and you decide. Well, with the help of Eve and a handful of very talented friends and musicians.
Stylewise, she plucks influences from numerous sources. There is the vocal bluegrass of Let Me Rise and Old Tin Cup/Peel the Onion, every bit as refreshing and emotionally settling as Adrienne Young & Little Sadie or Buck White & the Down Home Folks, who can and could make nuclear confrontation sound palatable. Maybe Norah Jones didn't influence the upbeat but bluesy Blue and Low Down, but when Goldberg and company hit the "oooo" of the chorus, they hit the chord Jones hit on that video they played so much on TV and it resonates. The fifties' country feel of Do You Want to Get Married has just enough of the Hank Williams feel to suck you in, thanks to the sliding pedal steel and the constant fiddle in the background. And it might catch you by surprise how much some of Hank's tunes owe to dixieland—you can actually hear it, thanks to the arrangement. Goldberg goes lounge jazz with Funny How Love Can Die, a lament to the wonders and destructive capabilities of love. When the Leaves Began to Fall mixes bits of folk, theater and jazz into a stunning and beautiful composition, a bit orchestral (without the orchestra—an impressive trick).
Please allow a separate paragraph for One in a Million, the song which shows us the real Eve Goldberg. She wrote it for her father. In her insert, she prefaces the lyrics with "My dad died of a disease that kills one in a million people. He was one in a million in more ways than one." A few months before entering the studio to record this album, her mother passed away. When recording One in a Million, Goldberg had to have both parents in her heart when she sang "I hadn't yet begun to tell you you were one in a million to me." It is a poignant message in song and reminds us all how really fragile life is.
Eve Goldberg has a pleasant voice, though not overwhelming, but this album is not about the voice. It is about the music and the message. Both shine through, thanks to fine performances both instrumentally and vocally. And a huge pat on the back to Ken Whiteley who, in his understanding of Goldberg and her music, kept the bells and whistles to a minimum.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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