Man, it's been a while since I've seen Kenny Passarelli's name crop up. He'd been a founding member of (Joe Walsh's) Barnstorm and later involved with Dan Fogelberg, Hall & Oates, and others, but has been, at least to the general public, pretty much dormant for a while, so, like the similar re-emergence of Terry Sylvester recently, catching his sobriquet as producer and bass player here was surprising. It also signified the probability that there'd be some informed music-making going on…and there is.
Anne Weiss is a ground-level singer somewhat in the vein of Maria Muldaur, Martha Velez, and others but a good deal gutsier, earthier, and more believable. She crafts her own songs well, then pulls in some great covers, including an unusually upbeat take on Robert Johnson's Come On in My Kitchen. The session players, presumably gathered by Passarelli, provide excellent backing, and Weiss herself, in the liner notes, makes passing reference to the old A&M days, which Concrete World very staunchly revives. An indie figure since 1994, she's supported such names as Taj Mahal, Richie Havens, Anne DiFranco, Dan Fogelberg, and others, which should give more than a little indication of her integrity in others' eyes.
I've no idea what her three earlier releases sounded like, but this one received the royal treatment, and the singer shows herself to be every inch equal to the requirements for such fortune. Concrete Worl is summer music and, right now, that may be just the prescription to invite the listener to dive in, what with all the biting cold in much of the country. Once broached and its heat begins to seep throughout your wintertime burrow, the hip-swaying finger-snapping delta boogying that follows might be just about all you'll need to keep spirits up and the blood thrumming. Start with the swingin' take on Mississippi Fred McDowell's Write Me a Few of Your Lines and find yourself irresistably caged into the whole disc.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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