Eva Cassidy


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Somewhere marks the eight posthumous recording by Eva Cassidy -- none of her offerings were issued during her lifetime -- and puts her in the company of Tupac Shakur for a post-life discography. This is a true odds and sods collection of material that includes two co-writes and the usual slew of covers. The late Cassidy's covers run the gamut from Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors," and Don Covay's "Chain of Fools," to Don Hecht's "Walkin' After Midnight," and Fred Rose's "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain." Some of what's here has been doctored significantly -- the aforementioned Covay tune has horn and backing vocal charts added in 2006 and 2007, respectively, and another horn chart on a cover of Don Robey's "Ain't Doin' Too Bad," in 2006. The vocal tracks aren't much more than recorded demos, and the vocals, while of decent quality, aren't spectacular; when the other tracks are added, it feels like there is something very wrong at work here. Truth be told, it feels like ambulance chasing. Other selections fare better, such as the live version of J. Leslie McFarland's "It Won't Be Long," or the stripped down voice and guitar "Walkin' After Midnight," which is likewise live and wonderfully done. The same can be said of the live stripped to voice and guitar numbers like the Rose tune, George Gershwin's standard "Summertime," and Cassidy's co-write (with Rob Gordon) of "Early One Morning," a fingerpicked and slide guitar blues studio take recorded in 1987. There are three arrangements of traditional tunes here as well including "A Bold Young Farmer," the haunting tragic English ballad made all the more poignant since it was recorded in the year of Cassidy's death. The set concludes with the title cut, another original co-written by Cassidy and her producer and collaborator Chris Biondo. This is a recording that was never completed during her lifetime but finished in preparation for this release; this feels like the most "finished" thing here. Biondo's original reluctance to complete this track is understood due to its depth. Other former Cassidy bandmates Lenny Williams and Raice McLeod made this possible and it is easily the best thing here. Biondo's empathy for this track is particularly sensitive; if any of Cassidy's own music could be considered cinematic and universal in its appeal, it's this one. Employing her own backing vocals as a chorus make it truly powerful. All in all, this is the spottiest entry in her catalog, but there are some fine moments nonetheless.

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