Amy Fradon,
Passion Angels
(Leo Rising, 1999)

Listen to the voice of Amy Fradon and be transported. Hers is a crystal-clear vocal married to some fantastic lyrics that could have been penned in the 15th or the 21st century.

"Long Black Coat" opens a CD of 14 tracks that will captivate from the very first line. I was convinced that this was a new arrangement of an ancient tune until I read the writing credit -- Amy Fradon. In fact, most of the tracks are written or co-written by Fradon, and there is not a dud among them. This was like hearing a new collection from Joni Mitchell or Carole King. The lyrics are intelligent and the tunes grab you from the first bar.

I loved the track "The Famous Dancemore," which re-creates a weekend dance in small-town America, but could be any town in any land in any era of the past century. Bursting with history and nostalgia, this is one of those tracks that could be a breakthrough for this very talented writer and performer. I would buy this CD for this one alone.

But you get even better value when you consider the range of other material offered here. She confirms her storytelling ability with "She Loved Moses." For the trivia lovers among you, Jay Ungar, of "Ashokan Farewell" fame, plays mandolin on this track. Another track I must mention is "Come Home." This one is not from her pen, but she makes it her own. It is actually adapted from a beautiful hymn and if it does not move you, you should not listen to any more music.

The insert provides the lyrics of these fine compositions and performances.

As you may have guessed, I adore this CD and would love to see it in every collection in the world.

by Nicky Rossiter

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