Dirty Linen - p.85
"With her poetic words set to delicate folk-country arrangements, she sings her way through despair, loss, love, death, and loneliness....An emotional journey worth sharing."
Personnel: Ferron (vocals, acoustic guitar); Chris Webster, Don "DB" Benedictson (vocals); Shelley Jennings (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Brent Shindell (acoustic guitar, bouzouki); Darryl Havers (accordion, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, synthesizer, percussion); Chris Nordquist (drums).
Audio Mixers: Don "DB" Benedictson; Howie Rissin.
Recording information: 10/2004.
With throaty whispers and another pocketful of magical tunes Ferron once again uses her vocal agility, exquisite musical passages, and restrained timing to paint broad brush strokes across the listener's brain. "Goat Path," co-written by associate producer DB. Benedictson, embodies that formula, and at seven and a half minutes, presses the point with a mix of folk/country that is as good as anything this superior songwriter has crafted in the past. In Sly Stone's heyday Epic Records would declare "Two years is not a long time to wait," but it was more like an eternity for fans of the superstar with the long pauses in between the release of the Stand! album, There's a Riot Goin' On, and Fresh. And though Ferron's one decade of tardiness is not as huge as the 30 years Lesley Gore labored before 2005's Ever Since followed up 1975's Love Me by Name, the nine years without new music from Ferron prove artistically tragic -- because this album is as consistent and perfect as Testimony and Shadows on a Dime, her two classics from the 1980s. The ambiance of "Souvenir" finds a musical mirror in "Already Gone," distinctly different chapters of the same book. Whether by conscious effort or osmosis from swimming in the same environment, these four- and five-minute essays move at their own pace and on very appealing terms. The title track was co-written by accompanist Brent Shindell and the singer, and it's a wonderfully dreamy ballad in the style of k.d. lang's "Constant Craving," without the up-tempo drive. Shindell appeared on the aforementioned Testimony and Shadows on a Dime, and the inclusion of the veteran Ferron player is as welcome as co-producer DB. Benedictson returning from the Still Riot sessions to contribute here. Just as Lesley Gore employs the understated in her Ever Since, Ferron draws the curtain, sets the mood, and takes the listener on her unique journeys. There is much substance here, a career that deserves some long overdue serious attention. ~ Joe Viglione