Lisa Kirchner comes from the Toni Tenille / Olivia Newton-John / Paul Williams / Rita Coolidge / Judy Collins segment of the music world, encanting with a studied sonorous voice in Charleston for You, a collection of standard, self-penned, and other tracks cohered through their readings, the most affecting of which is a take on Janis Ian's Jesse. Aiding her is a rather impressive collection of well-known names: Tommy Mandel, Lonnie Plexixo, John Miller, Sue Evans, and quite a few others. Her handling of French, as in L'accordeoniste, may in fact be her strongest card, so much does she cut into a truly perfect reading of the language. Think Piaf.
There are quite a few mainstream tracks here, many of which would go well on radio, Lights of L.A. the strongest candidate either for soft jazz, adult contemporary, or The Wave type dial positions. Interestingly, no production credits are given for this disc, but whoever helmed the effort didn't steer the recording process as well as might have been desired nor quite push Kirchner to her limits (listen to the tail end of Lights if you want an illustration of just where her ace card lies—beautiful!). Thus, I suspect Lisa herself produced the CD…and shouldn't have, as musicians aren't often the best judges of their own strengths and weaknesses. That she has all the attributes necessary for a really solid outing is obvious, but that's not met here despite any number of very good passages. While certain parts are great, the sum of the whole is median, requiring either more woodshedding or better discretion on the technical end, probably both.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles