Barbara Lea

The Devil Is Afraid of Music

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Willard Robison was one of the more underrated songwriters, whose wistful melodies, unexpected chord changes, and nostalgic lyrics (which often yearned for a earlier simpler time) were actually quite charming. On this CD reissue, singer Barbara Lea is joined by a rhythm section headed by pianist Loonis McGlohon in 1976 (clarinetist Bob Mitchell sits in on one song), and on five equally rewarding numbers recorded in 1992 with pianist Dick Cary, guitarist Dave Koonse, and bassist Putter Smith. (The latter were recorded so as to bolster the playing time of the CD.) Lea, whose basic and lightly swinging style perfectly fits this music, performs such numbers as "Think Well of Me," "Guess I'll Go Back Home," "Deep Elm," "A Woman Alone with the Blues," and Robison's three best-known songs: "A Cottage for Sale," "'Tain't So, Honey, 'Tain't So," and "Old Folks." A perfect project.