The 'poet' in Poet on the Moon should actually be 'poetess', as Mare (pronounced as 'Mary') Wakefield certainly has a way with packing a lot into a stanza, which is always the sigil of the true poet/poetess (and don't get me started on the otherwise dismal state of modern "poetry"!!!). Take this refrain from the lead cut:
One more time, let meteors collide
…into which zen and then Haldane's "We think biochemically!" could be blended to grind any Jeopardy TV show to a halt and turn all panelists into a gaggle of Schopenhauers and Nietzsches…or am I mixing my metaphors a tad too extensively? Well, that's what happens when someone turns words into magic. Here, however, with Ms. Wakefield, you get a good deal more than deftly scribed observances hiding landmines, as the musical bedding assumes folk-classical overtones, Lost and Found a clear example with its chamber atmosphere, and then what Brian Auger once coined as 'happiness heartaches'.
And the 'Nomad' part of the CD's appellation isn't the name of the band but rather Mare's husband, the Turkish-born Nomad Ovunc, now a citizen (welcome, buddy!), pianist, and backing vocalist. A good deal of the classical overtones here derive in his work. Symphony orchestras have covered his materials, and I have to suspect, though it's not credited, he had a large sharing hand in the the oeuvre's arrangements. Beautiful shows clear signs of that, and, in various cuts, there's David Henry's marvelous strings. The fundament, though, is still Wakefield, distinctively shown everywhere, often shaking hands with a blend of trad and modern country. Critics have compared her with Shawn Colvin, Maria McKee, Dolly Parton, and others, but I'll take Dolly and add in Emmylou Harris as the best exemplifications.
Add Paul Simon to the mix as well, as Mare possesses an elevated sense of all the various ingredients composing her art, that beyond-the-ordinary notion of the way of things which enriches whatever it touches, bringing out elements others too hastily pass by. When you're really good at something, it's never the big things that delineate your art—everyone can do that—it's always the small matters, the attention to detail and juxtaposition that make standard elements take on new life. That happens here. A lot.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles