Randy Stonehill

Until We Have Wings

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This album shows why, with a few notable exceptions, Randy Stonehill's studio albums have never come close to the quality of his live performances. The first half of the disc is a pretty blandly produced set of folk-pop studio recordings. Except for the sweetly nostalgic "Old Clothes," Stonehill and his eminently capable producer, Mark Heard, failed to recapture the stark emotional power of their previous collaboration (Return to Paradise). The arrangements have a sterility about them which makes one painfully aware that they were recorded in the isolation of a recording studio. The second half of the disc, however, is a phenomenally lively set of solo concert performances. Armed only with an acoustic guitar, Stonehill immediately wins complete ownership of his audience with the unrestrained energy of his performance. Almost solely on the strength of his passion, Stonehill is moving, funny, bizarre, and a master of audience participation.

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