Various Artists

In Their Own Words, Vol. 1

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In Their Own Words was the name of a series of performances at New York's Bottom Line, where singer-songwriters gathered in a roundtable, performed their own songs and told stories about their compositions; occasionally, they also performed covers, and described how the songs influenced their own work. Razor & Tie released highlights from these sessions as In Their Own Words, Vol. 1 in 1994. Although the collection is uneven, it has a number of wonderful moments, such as Arthur Alexander's "Anna," Janis Ian's "At 17," Barrett Strong's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," Shawn Colvin's "That's the Way Love Goes," Joey Ramone's "I Wanna Be Sedated," Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman" and Richard Thompson's "I Feel So Good." Even the performances that don't work, such as Graham Parker's interpretation of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry," are interesting, since they're presented in an intimate setting and are supported by interesting stories. That combination of words and music is what makes In Their Own Words such a fascinating listen for singer-songwriter aficionados.

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