Professor and Maryann is the third release from Ken Rockwood and Danielle Brancaccio. This is a stripped-down affair featuring acoustic guitars and a handful of nicely sung songs. Professor and Maryann has a contemporary edge that isn't found in most Boston coffeehouses. Their attitude and approach, lyrically, is younger and thus closer to alternative rock than folk. Call it a certain hipness. "Not You Not Me" is a song sure to appeal to anyone who's ever eyed a couple connected at the hip and wondered, "Why can't I find love like that?" The irony though is that Brancaccio's vocal is so achingly romantic that she sounds like she should know. The minor key "Grin" is a brooding piece that perfectly captures the doubt and fear of wondering -- in a relationship -- if someone really cares for you. Perhaps the best songs on the album are the light, jazz-flavored material from yesteryear. "History in the Making" is a nice (even happy) tune about love, while "Wait for the Stars" is the catchiest number on the album. Both of these offer a certain amount of relief from the other emotional downers that fill up the album. Rockwood effectively handles the vocals on songs like "On Ludlow St." and "Whirl," and adds great harmony to a number of other songs. It may seem surprising that he has written all of the material here, because Brancaccio seems to embody every word she sings. Perhaps this is what makes the project come together so well, and what makes them such an effective team. If you like your folk hip, or your alternative rock acoustic, then Professor and Maryann should be just the ticket.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.