With all the energy of a bull bucking out of its holding pen, a turbocharged rendition of Billy Edd Wheeler's "Coal Tattoo" opens Laurie MacAllister's The Things I Choose to Do. This discerningly curated collection of songwriter's songs -- some familiar, some overlooked-- is a B&N exclusive and includes plums by Lennon/McCartney, Leonard Cohen, Dolly Parton, and Irving Berlin. Is it MacAllister's background in psychology that allows her to so wholly inhabit these songs? In each, as subtly as a chameleon, she convincingly takes on the persona's skin. Major kudos also go to producer Cliff Eberhardt for production perfection and contributing, among other things, the knockout "Baton Rouge". Also included is Lynn Miles' beguiling "Nobody's Angel", featuring Dar Williams' decidedly angelic harmonies. Ms. MacAllister's commitment to the magic of this material has her, quite simply, singing her heart out. We are indeed the lucky beneficiaries.
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The Things I Choose to Do [Barnes & Noble Exclusive] based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Things is a wonderful showcase for MacAllister's moving voice. A little more electric than her band Red Molly's sound, Things is a mildly eclectic collection of covers ranging from Leonard Cohen to Eric Anderson. Highlights for me are a rolling version of Coal Tattoo, and an amazing take on Dolly Parton's Jolene. In fact, the only thing I would have changed would have been including a take on producer Cliff Eberhardt's song Memphis. I'm looking forward to more music from Ms. MacAllister.
Laurie MacAllister is one of those singers songwriters dream of covering their songs. She goes deep down to the core of a tune and embodies it. Her voice has a richness, range and pureness that sets her apart from her contemporaries. And best of all, like Patsy Cline, she's got a catch in her voice that hooks you every time. The recording works so well because of the winning combination of Cliff Eberhardt's production and the absolute pureness and beauty of MacAllister's voice. It has Eberhardt's mastery all over it - from the quality of the backing musicians and the arrangements, to the framing of MacAllister's vocals. And Eberhardt's distinctive guitar is heard throughout the recording. I would love to hear more from Laurie MacAllister. I am enchanted by her vocal gifts, particularly the way she gets genuine emotion and feelings across to the listener. She makes you feel like you are experiencing the song with her. She's a rare find and a talent to watch. Roberta Schwartz, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange