Holy Hannah, Elmer, whut in hay-ull is thet fiery-haired painted Jezebel doing on the cover of this CD, dressed slinkily and to the nines, looking hoity-toit and swanky? In a crimson dress no less! Whooo-eee, I say we buy her a drink, find out what's what and…whoa! waitaminnit! is that a gun in her hand? It sure as damn is 'n it's smoking too! Move aside, son, I'm headin' for the exit.
Laura Ainsworth is indeed a redhead and decked out dangerously on the cover to Necessary Evil, but, once past that luridly ominous scenario, she proves as sweet-voiced as a meadowlark crossed with a hummingbird. There's a reason for that: she issues from a musical family. Her dad, the well known sax player and clarinetist Billy Ainsworth, played athwart Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, and others, and the music here is cherry-picked from that era, sometimes wistful, other times humorous, even parodic when the urge strikes. This is the kind of gig Mae West would uncork champagne to and then sit back in brocade and rhinestones, surveying a gaggle of Romeos in order to locate the evening's diversion coming up to see her sometime…a little bit later.
Evil, though, is also reminiscent of the sort of period music that would complement Leon Redbone's work, taking the Northern fork of the river rather than the more working class Southern. Leon would make his audience feel like back-street dukes and barons while Ainsworth would be playing for and among the hoity-toit, sipping absinthe with 'em after the show. Vamps, sorceresses, and cabaret divas are the faeryland denizens she saunters among, unhurriedly, at home with winsome seductresses and a Gatsby or two. At times, one can almost hear Tenessee Williams and Oscar Wilde rubbing elbows in the audience, so this, y'all, is music for a time gone by.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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