Lucy Wainwright Roche¿s album Lucy delivers sweet poetry
Lucy Wainwright Roche's album Lucy delivers sweet poetry
Lucy Wainwright Roche
Lucy Wainwright Roche
The Wainwrights are the first family of North American singer-songwriters, an extended grouping that includes patriarch Loudon Wainwright III, sister Sloan, late ex-wife Kate McGarrigle, children Rufus and Martha, and daughter Lucy (Loudon's daughter with the singer Suzzy Roche). A family jam session - they are quite supportive of one another and record on each other's albums - is an event to behold live. Among the guests on this album are the Indigo Girls, who have claimed Roche sisters Suzzy, Terre and Maggie as influences.
As in many close families, it's easy to see resemblances. On Wainwright Roche's debut full-length disc, the similarities are in tone and story. The lyrics find us in North Carolina, California, London and New York, mile markers of a life spent touring with her parents. As such, the songs are of loves found and lost and some caught in that spot in between. A teacher by training, she's a natural poet, with subtle internal rhymes and external ones that don't need licence. Wainwright Roche's voice is sweeter than her mother's, fitting for the open, innocent feeling of her songs. Among standout tunes are Open Season (about a boardwalk-summer love affair); October (with a satisfying chorus that begins "we're happy as we're ever gonna be"); Mercury News, and a version of Simon and Garfunkel's America.
Not many artists can say they have sung and recorded with Dolly Parton, Ray Charles and the Foo Fighters, but as this 18-track compilation of her duets and collaborations from the past decade illustrates, Norah Jones is as successfully (and surprisingly) versatile as she is prolific. Equally comfortable with country, hip-hop and bluegrass as the languid, mellow jazz stylings she's best known for - her enchanting voice and intelligent phrasing complement without ever being too overbearing. Album highlights include her interesting pairings with Ryan Adams, Talib Kweli and a rather touching version of Baby It's Cold Outside with Willie Nelson that is masterful enough to soften even the most hardened seasonal cynics.