I make no bones about it, and as any long standing FAME reader will acutely acknowledge, I have absolutely no credible idea what constitutes so much of what passes for music today. Nor do I know why. As a matter of fact, the whole damn situation has left me doing far fewer reviews than I've ever done in the past 15 or so years.
But I do seem to recall a time when I did have a handle on these things. And that was a time when talents like Rodriguez were the chart-toppers. They were the names everyone knew and buzzed about. Theirs were the records everyone rushed out to buy. Hers was the demure smile beaming from t-shirts and posters. Once upon a time, a tireless, gracious performer, skilled, intuitive multi-instrumentalist, and heart-tugging singer of Rodriguez's gifts filled concert halls. Now she's the top name on fliers for venues barely the size of some master bedrooms.
So, since we live in darker, more hostage mentality times, beautifully crystalline efforts like Love and Circumstance will undoubtedly, unjustly, and undeservedly go unheard and mostly unheralded. A few old coots like me will praise it and radio stations with declining membership will highlight a few tracks. For them, I'd suggest the sultry vulnerability of Ry Cooder's Big Love or Lucinda's Steal Your Love (listen for the luscious harmonies of Aoife O'Donovan on this track as well as Townes VZ 's Rex's Blues and daddy Dave Rodriguez's exquisite When I Heard Gypsy Davy Sing). The emphatic, atmospheric eloquence of her core bandmates—guitarist Hans Holzen, bassist Kyle Kegerreis, drummer Eric Patz—and guests Bill Frisell, O'Donovan, and Buddy Miller among them—allow Rodriguez to seduce (the Ronstadt sounding La Punalada Trapera), country croon on Merle's I Started Loving You Again and break your heart on Richard Thompson's elegiac Waltzing's For Dreamers.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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