by Joe Curtis
Review date: May/June 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
After listening to Cristie Hall's debut CD, Bittersweet on repeat for a couple of hours, I've noticed a basic inherent quality to this CD -- that is … it's laid back, but energetic flow to each and every song on this remarkably well-put-together collection of original tunes. The title tune "Bittersweet", is a classic in that it says much with few words -- emotional and vibrant to say the least. The feeling in Cristie's voice tells it better than volumes of lyrics could ever do. "Angel Inside" is romantic, insightful, wishful and introspective all at the same time. Obviously written with much thought in order to say it just right; with lyrics such as "the angel inside", "your smile is a kiss", and "hands of heaven", being beautiful imagery to say the least - literally, even more so!
"So Far From You Now", is a sad love song with powerful lyrics. These are matched by a sorrowful, emotional delivery by Cristie, telling it all in no uncertain terms. Universal in theme, but simple in the message it contains, it's easy to take and nice to hear. "Texas Child" seems to have an air of serenity and longing, all at the same time. Ed Bernard's emotional guitar solo part way through this very deep tune, accents the feeling of Cristie's vocals with great accuracy. The whole band seems to feel each other's input, and complements it perfectly with their own imaginative virtuosity. At least 10 musicians took an active part in performing on this great CD. I'll just quickly mention Tom Lewis' expertise on bass, as well as Brian Tulk's reliable, percussive skills on drums. Peter Linseman had a hand in penning, and/or co-writing all the beautiful tunes on Bittersweet. He also supplied the equally beautiful acoustic guitar parts, on the 12 great tracks of this 40 plus minute CD. Well worth a first listen -- then again and again and …!
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