Wow! Has Maggie Herron ever got a voice on her! Good Thing starts out with one of her own compositions, Things Could be Better, a very cool swingin' song that could easily fit into a balmy summer's hit movie or the Billboard charts…and I mean verrrry easily fit. Her ability to climb from husky reminiscence to vibrant exultancy is rather remarkable. Great lyrics too, capturing that Everyman/woman ethos informing a good deal of the best of Tin Pan Alley in its prime. Then her selection of producer Brian Bromberg, who of course also sits in on bass, was choice because there's a smoothness and sheen satinizing the entirety of the release.
I'm not kidding; Herron possesses a highly trained and superbly honed vocal instrument, never for a second within a continent's distance of a wrong choice, hesitation, or inconfidence. Peggy Lee would sit rapt at one of her Hawaii recitals (Maggie's a permanently transplanted islander). Herron also plays a very respectable piano but never lets it get in the way of her singing. When it comes to the matrixing the lyrics, however, she's her own accompanist along with the rest of a highly adept crew plying the staves and measures, Dave Tull—no relation to Jethro, so far as I know—a versatile drummer beneath it all. She does, however, take solos here and there, and when they arise, each and every one is clean, light, and scintillating.
Maggie's take on Joni Mitchell's Woodstock will have Steve Stills and Graham Nash, not to mention Gracie Slick, taking notice. Joni won't be at all surprised, though, as this is exactly what she'd do with it were she to tackle it again in Don Juan's Reckless Daughter fashion, with Mancini's Moon River a companion, here taken down a notch or two even from Andy Williams' famed mellifluous take. My favorite cut, though, is one Maggie wrote with Dawn Herron (sister?), Le Printemps est Arrive'. The melodics are just sooooo right. Bacharach will be loving it, and the late A.C. Jobim will be right behind him from somewhere in the clouds. Piaf herself would have wanted to sing the cut, it's that good.
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