Fitzgerald & Beach,
Pilot Me
(Bonedog, 2006)

D.C. Fitzgerald and Bob Beach are two veteran Pennsylvania musicians who play in the mid-Atlantic area in a variety of bands and settings -- the sort of thing regional musicians do to make a living. Pilot Me represents the latest effort they've done in their guise as Fitzgerald & Beach, acoustic blues duo. Fitzgerald plays guitar while Beach adds harmonica and occasional flute to the mix. Although Beach sings occasionally, Fitzgerald handles most of the lead vocals.

Which leads to the major problem I had with the CD. It opens with "South Medley," a song that brings "Dixie" and "My Window Faces the South" together. "Dixie," the instrumental portion of the medley, is fabulous, brilliantly arranged and wonderfully played. But then they sing. To say they haven't got strong pipes is to understate. Of course, if one of the Iglesiases is your idea of a fine singer, you've got no reason to be listening to Fitzgerald and Beach anyway, but nevertheless, if a vocalist doesn't have great vocals, he needs something to compensate -- an original style, a unique approach, charisma maybe. I didn't hear that in Fitzgerald & Beach.

The playing is wonderful throughout, but the singing is weak. Would it be cruel to ask for an instrumental CD?

review by
Michael Scott Cain

29 September 2007

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