Cry Cry Cry

Cry Cry Cry

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This is an album of folk-rock covers performed by the Big Three singer/songwriters of the most recent folk revival, and it works well, if not perfectly. It starts off with the most risky number, a shimmering version of R.E.M.'s "Fall on Me." Dar Williams doesn't quite have the right voice for this song, but the band arrangements and backing vocals work nicely and the track ends up being very pretty in its way. The rest of the program is more of what you'd expect: story-songs by songwriters admired by the three performers, including James Keelaghan (whose "Cold Missouri Waters" is a harrowing firefighting tale), Robert Earl Keen ("Shades of Gray"), and Greg Brown ("Lord, I Have Made You a Place in My Heart"). Lucy Kaplansky, who has the best voice of the three, sings the heartbreakingly sweet "Speaking with the Angel," and there's a very interesting a cappella version of Leslie Smith's "Northern Cross," sung here in wide-open, medieval-sounding harmony. A couple of tunes rock out in a country-ish sort of way, and there's a nice version of Richard Shindell's "Ballad of Mary Magdalene." At times it sounds like the group members are still trying to figure out how best to work together, but fans of these artists won't be disappointed.

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