I went to the release party for BettySoo's new CD (When We're Gone) last night. It was a great success. I'm sitting down tonight to listen all the way through the CD for the first time. I started to "live-tweet" this but decided there just weren't enough characters. And, it'd just get lost in the vacuum that is Twitter. So, a new post here. A real post. I haven't done anything "real" here in a very long time.
Anyway, to the task at hand. Track-by-track...
- Listen - Starts off with some beautiful cello work by Brian Standefer. I've seen him play with BettySoo and Jenny Reynolds several times over the last few months; he's an awfully talented fella. Love the vocals. I like the haunting whispering going on. Who's singing background? BettySoo. Huh. She had Charlie Faye, Noelle Hampton, and Jaimee Harris doing this work at the show last night. And, they were great. Looking through the liner notes, I see she's doing the background vocals on pretty much the whole CD. Interesting. Love it. Powerful lyrics. Love the abrupt ending.
- 100 Different Ways of Being Alone - More lovely background vocals by BettySoo. Heartbreaking lyrics. More cello. I love the sound of a cello. The up-tempo rhythm and cheerul ooh-ooh-oohs belie what's really going on in this song. "Called everyone you know but nobody's home." The lyrics of this song will kill you.
- Last Night - Beautiful vocals. Pedal steel by Lloyd Maines? Gorgeous.
- Summertime - Sounds beautiful. I have no idea what's going on in the lyrics, though. "Crumpled on the floor a crimson mess"? That sounds very ominous. Is it the dress or the girl that's crumpled? No idea. The slow 60's beach guitar licks are cool.
- The Things She Left Town With - Wow. Another heartbreaker. I'm starting to wonder if I can make it through this CD in one sitting. Pretty, pretty guitar by Will Sexton is a perfect compliment to the downward-spiraling lyrics.
- Josephine - Is there a second "she" in his life or is "she" really him? More ambiguous and haunting lyrics. More lovely cello.
- Hold Tight - A crumbling relationship; the narrator needs to get far, far away. Rather than hold tight. It all sounds quite beautiful, though.
- Love is Real - This one's starting to try and bring us out of the chasm the previous few songs have thrown us down. Maybe. Can you hear the heart beat?
- When We're Gone - The title doesn't give me much hope. More beautiful vocals, though. And, in the end, I think it just might be a little bit hopeful. I love me some accordion. Very much.
- Nothing Heals a Broken Heart - No hope in the title of this one. Oh, no. At the first lyric, I remember hearing this one for the first time a few months ago at a house concert. It brought me to tears that afternoon. It's gonna do the same thing tonight. So much sadness. Such a beautiful song, though. More gorgeous cello.
- Wheels - Oh. Nice. Hopefulness. At last. Sort of. I think. Heh. "Wave yesterday goodbye."
- Lullaby - An actual, bonafide lullaby. More beautiful vocals. A given, of course, if BettySoo is the singer. Said vocals are accompanied by acoustic guitar and cello. And, some soft woodwinds rounding things out. Lovely.
All music and lyrics (every heartbreaking one of them) by BettySoo. And, of course, she did all the artwork and layout of the CD. She's a very talented young lady on so many fronts. Wow.
This really is an amazing CD. Go buy it. Listen to it. But, maybe not if you're down. And, maybe not all at once. And, certainly not with a bottle of wine (or a six back of beer) at hand. It's a gorgeous thing, though.
And, from BettySoo's home page, an intro to the CD that maybe I should've heeded before I plunged into this little project:
Marriages start, marriages crumble, daughters run away, innocence is lost, husbands punch their wives in the face, and those lost causes we've resigned to the wind get sober and start over. Children are born - but some don't make it past five.
During the five years since her last album of original material, BettySoo zigzagged her way across the North American and European continents more than a few times. Mostly, she toured. Every other minute, she was flying to visit best friends in rehab, driving for days with friends whose family lives were crumbling, visiting mental hospitals, going to houses and cleaning kitchens and bathrooms when friends had no will left to do it themselves.
Yeah. That tells you exactly where this CD is coming from. And, now that I'm done, I'm really glad I didn't live-tweet this. I could not have finished.
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