‘Song of Joy’ from Nancy Cassidy, an album of quiet stillness(October 16, 2012)
During the past couple of weeks, I’ve spent some of my much-valued ‘quiet time’ luxuriating in ‘musical balm for the ears’ - calming, regenerating, thought-provoking and nothing short of a panacea for the soul. This magic potion was ‘Song of Joy’ from Nancy Cassidy, an album of quiet stillness and positive reflection delivered by one of the most heartfelt voices in Americana music.
I first came across Nancy’s work as a singer of songs for children. Beyond that skill lingers the talent of a lady that writes songs to touch you no matter what your age. First off you’re struck by the deep warmth of her alto vocals, then the appealing melodies grab your attention – blindingly pure American folk with a touch of bluegrass, country and gospel blues – a concoction that creates the tender touch that is ‘Song of Joy’.
From the sparkling, mandolin-edged splendour of the title track ‘Song of Joy’ through theevocative entreaty to love in ‘I’d Be Your Sun and Moon’ and the expansive compassion held within ‘So Beautiful’ to theachingly beautiful harmonies and stark truth of ‘Wanna Be The One’ – this is an album of sincerity that will restore your faith in life, and if belief ever fails perhaps in yourself.
Playing alongside Nancy on various tracks are Keith Greeninger (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, shaker, vocals) Jimmy Norris (drums, Glockenspiel, percussion) Dayan Kai (accordion, organ, acoustic guitar, clarinet, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, vocals, mandolin, nylon string guitar) Steve Uccello (bass) Andy Zenczak (bass) Roger Feuer ( acoustic lead guitar, vocals) Kimball Hurd (mandolin, mandola, vocals) Barry Phillips (cello) and Tammi Brown (vocals).
Reviewer: Tom Franks