Personnel: Eva Cassidy (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, wah-wah guitar, cello, strings, keyboards, background vocals); Chris Biondo (acoustic guitar, drum programming); Keith Grimes (electric guitar); Karen Van Sant, Dan Cassidy, Mike Stein (violin); Lenny Williams (strings, organ, keyboards); Leigh Pilzer (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Chris Walker (trumpet); Doug Elliot, Dan Haverstock (trombone); Mark Carson (piano, background vocals); Kent Wood (piano); John Gillespie (organ, background vocals); Anthony Flowers (organ); William Ju Ju House, Raice McLeod (drums); Chuck Brown (background vocals).
Audio Remasterer: Robert Vosgien.
Liner Note Author: Joel Siegel.
Arranger: Eva Cassidy.
An album both haunting and inspiring, tragic and mesmerizing, Eva by Heart was the singer's only true studio album, and hints at the promise which was never to materialize due to her early demise from cancer. Five of the songs on this set ("I Know You by Heart," "Time Is a Healer," "Wayfaring Stranger," "Wade in the Water," and "Songbird") appear on her Songbird collection. The import version of Eva by Heart contains an extra track, "Dark End of the Street," which does not appear on the American version, or on any of her albums for that matter. The styles range from folksy (the sweet "I Know You by Heart"), to soulful ("Time Is a Healer"), to introspective ("Say Goodbye," "Waly Waly"), to downright rousing ("Wayfaring Stranger," "How Can I Keep From Singing?") and bluesy ("Blues in the Night."). Eva's voice always sounds crystalline, and her interpretive skills are unmatched (as evidenced on her lovely take of Christine McVie's "Songbird"). The woman had the power to transform a standard or a traditional into her own song, and she could belt out the blues just as good as anybody else (take one listen to "Blues in the Night" or her duet with Chuck Brown, "Need Your Love So Bad"). This disc, as with any of her works, and the posthumous fame she achieved but never sought, stand as testimony as to how true artistry, despite whatever circumstances, has the capacity to transcend, and her story should prove inspiring to any truly talented and struggling musician out in the world. ~ Jose Promis