Eve Goldberg,
Crossing the Water
(Borealis, 2003)

Eve Goldberg is a fine singer and guitarist who includes a good range of material on this album. She includes six songs written (or co-written) by her and seven by other songwriters. Particularly characteristic are either bluesy numbers or songs defined in the publicity material as country/bluegrass/old-time. Despite some good examples early on, though, I do not rate these as the best on the album. Rather I prefer some of the more contemporary sounding songs almost hidden at the end, particularly those written by Goldberg herself. One excellent example is "Sheshatsiu Lullabye" -- a very soothing song as befits a lullaby for troubled children. It is an original number which makes effective use of piano and fiddle. I feel that more in this vein would be an interesting road for Goldberg to travel.

There are two other striking songs towards the end of the album. "Rosie the Riveter (Revisited)," by Linda Allen, just features Eve and Sue Goldberg's voices unaccompanied. It is a song about women being discarded from traditionally male employment at the end of World War II despite heroic work during the war itself. It is a powerful song with a real punch. "You Don't Need to Miss Me" (co-written by Goldberg and Ken Whiteley) is another first-rate contemporary number. I do think that Goldberg shines best with this type of song which features effective interplay between guitar and harmonica.

The album opens with probably the best examples of more characteristically traditional types of song. The first, "Something about a Sunday," is a blues song with a foot tapping tune. It includes excellent piano by Ken Whiteley -- which is a strong feature too on several other numbers -- and a blast of saxophone. "Mama's Opry" is more of a country/bluegrass song with an upbeat instrumental combination of guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and bass. Perhaps the best bluegrass song though is "It Rains Everywhere I Go." It is a moving song about lost love and includes two other singers providing harmony vocals. There is also interesting accompaniment by two guitars, bass and accordion. Mention should also be made of the closing song, "Crossing the Water," featuring the 45-strong Downtown Syncopated Sweetwater Choir.

Overall there will be much that will be enjoyed by fans of more traditional blues and country but, for me, Goldberg really makes her mark with the contemporary style of song.

- Rambles
written by Andy Jurgis
published 10 April 2004

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