Sandy Ross

A Lady of a Different Time

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The first album from successful songwriter Sandy Ross shows that she was as talented a performer as the people who made her songs hits. Side one (tracks one through seven) was recorded in a studio, while side two was recorded at the famed Bla Bla Cafe. Ross excels at songs about strong women negotiating relationships, and "Darling, Please Forgive Me" ranks with her best. Though the title suggests that it's another wimpy and contrite cliché, it's a song about finding it hard to give up independence and share life with someone else. While a few other artists were working this territory in 1972, nobody else was doing it quite this well, and the song stands up well today. "Midnight Flyer" will evoke nostalgia from any veteran of the Pacific Southwest Airlines flights between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The late-night flights were absurdly cheap and always stuffed with actors, musicians, and other riffraff, and the stewardesses became blasé about passengers drinking wine and smoking pot while in the air. Ross evokes those long-gone days perfectly, and even people who never experienced the aerial gypsy caravan will find the song lovely. The band on the studio side is very good, and includes what may be the first recorded performance on the Chapman Stick, by none other than Emmett Chapman himself (credited as "Emmit Chapman" on the album cover, which has several other typos). The live side is slightly low-fidelity, but the endearing performances make up for the slightly echoing sound. Lady of a Different Time is a rare album, but one definitely worth finding and savoring.

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