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New Mexico folk singer-songwriter Martha Reich has a beautiful tone to her vocals, clear and crisp and, the production is sympathetic, gently and warm. It touches one's soul. She spins her poetic songs akin to a spider weaving its web.
Apart from her own banjo, steel string guitar, Dulcimer, piano, ukelele and nylon string guitar Reich calls on cello, viola (Michael Kott) and producer Larry Mitchell on electric guitar (“Fade Away” and “So Brave”) there’s other subtle well chosen additions as you have percussion, 5-string fiddle and upright bass.
One of the things to strike me, apart from the beauty of her music and singing was the fact here is an artist caught live will be a magical experience. So subtle and poetic, the record is awash with vignettes as she speaks of how precious on “Fade Away“, the stillness on “So Brave” and with spare use of piano, “The River” effortlessly winds its way to the heart and soul of the listener.
Best of the seven-track album could well be the cello, banjo and fiddle warmed quiet but at the same time powerful “I’d Rather Be Surprised”; it has songs near its equal in “The River” (instrumental) and the delightful “If I Only Knew”. As for her version of “Over the Rainbow” it is as you would expect a delicate as a flower in bloom. Reich’s guitar work, coupled with cello and JQ Whitcomb’s trumpet set it off in style.
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