Eva Cassidy

Method Actor

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Before the late Eva Cassidy pursued a solo career, she was the lead singer for Method Actors -- an obscure Washington D.C.-based pop/rock outfit that producer/songwriter/guitarist David Christopher founded in 1987. Commercially, Method Actors didn't get very far, and the little-known band provided only one album during its three-year existence. This self-titled effort, in fact, had very limited distribution when Christopher released it on vinyl and cassette in 1988; a mere 2,000 copies were manufactured. And after Cassidy's death from cancer in 1996, Method Actors' LP/cassette became a collector's item -- hard-to-find copies were selling for as much as 500 dollars on the e-bay website. But in 2002, this album became much easier to obtain when Q&W Music Group reissued it on CD and added two 1989 recordings as bonus tracks ("The Waiting Is Over" and "Little Children"). Those who know Cassidy for her rootsier solo efforts of the '90s might be surprised to learn that a slicker approach prevails on Method Actors' album, but slick doesn't necessarily mean unfeeling or without substance -- and Cassidy's soulfulness comes through on songs (all of which Christopher wrote or co-wrote) that range from the melancholy "Stay" to the sentimental ballad "Forever." The CD's most rootsy offering is the blues-rock number "Getting Out"; this is the track that has the most in common with Cassidy's '90s solo work. Is Method Actors' album in a class with Cassidy's best solo projects? No; when these recordings were made in 1987, 1988, and 1989, the singer's best performances were yet to come. Nonetheless, all of the material is pleasing and enjoyable, and Cassidy's hardcore fans will find that these recordings have a great deal of historic value.

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