Lisa Hindmarsh,
Ernie Hawkins
& Rodan Weikert,
Moonlit River:
Songs by Fred Moolten

(Great Gull, 2003)

This charming EP features five tracks, all songs written by Fred Moolten, whose previous album The Way We Were was released to acclaim in 2000. Here, Moolten doesn't perform his own songs, but places them in the capable hands of Lisa Hindmarsh, Ernie Hawkins and Rodan Weikert. They are joined by the talented Max Leake, Brian Stahurski, Nelson Harrison, Pete Freeman and George Heid.

Hindmarsh kicks off the EP with "Someday Blues," a song for which her voice is well-suited, a slow walking-pace blues ballad, well accompanied by Hawkins on guitar and Weikert on harmonica to give it that inimitable blues feel. It is followed by "Candle Glow," again featuring Hindmarsh on vocals; this is a real late-night-smoocher, with some lovely piano work by Leake.

"Waiting for the Midnight Blues" is in similar vein to the opening number, minus harmonica. Harrison's trombone provides some soul-searching notes and gives the number a smoky-club feel. Hindmarsh's vocals, always worth listening to, get good and gritty in this emotive number.

Weikert takes over vocal lead on "Last Dance," a lighter song to which his voice is well suited, giving it an almost period lounge-bar atmosphere. After the blues on the previous tracks, this is a fluffier song with soft lyrics, delightfully delivered. The EP closes with Weikert on vocals for the title track, "Moonlit River." His voice now is more soulful, demonstrating a nice versatility, and only Hawkins accompanies on the guitar, giving the track a simple structure.

The lyrics, all written by Moolten, are original, poetic and touching; happy or sorrowful, they each have a certain poignancy that makes them memorable. This is a lovely CD, and tempts the listener to hear more from all the featured talents.

- Rambles
written by Jenny Ivor
published 30 April 2005

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