Linda Draper,
(Planting Seeds, 2007)

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- Linda Draper is a poetess.

And this, her fifth release, is just what the name implies -- a souvenir of the giver and one to cherish.

Keepsake is a compilation of nine original songs and a bonus Rick Nelson composition. But even this 10th offering is made distinctly Draper by her soft and alluring voice and proficient guitar.

Based in New York, Draper has gained a reputation and following in what's termed the antifolk venue. Despite what some choose to call it, her music deals with the same emotions in the same timeless quality we normally accord to be folk music.

In clever and touching lyrics she sings of relationships, loneliness and everyday life, adding a touch of irony and humor here and there. Her music is as warm and direct as a lullaby, but the poetry can be passionate and taut with a love of life.

The poetry is evident in "Keepsake," in which she tells how "Behind every great man is a great woman in the palm of his hand, and behind every great woman is a great man no one understands." Or, in "Cell Phone," a message to those addicted to the instrument, when she sings, "Are you looking for somebody to call, is there not a single cell phone out there ringing for you."

It's hard to name a favorite in an album with so much good music. "Too Late," "Traces Of" and "Among Every Stone That Has Been Cast" are all first-rate. But, I wouldn't give up a single track on this album. I love them all.

Draper began her career in church choir, which still leaves an impression in her music today. Later, she attended the SUNY Purchase Music Conservatory and performed at Renaissance Faire venues while exploring for her own self-expression. She has played in a number of New York City clubs and at festivals here and abroad.

She's admirably backed on various selections by Robert Woodcock, bass; Major Matt, bass; Sam Lazzara, percussion; Nan Turner, piano; Soce the Elemental Wizard, violin; and Danny Fast Fingers, slide guitar.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
John R. Lindermuth

6 October 2007

what's new