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MP3 Daisy DeBolt - Soulstalking DCD 102
Latin beats and guitar riffs are the most noticeable additions to the cornucopia of musical instruments and styles debolt sews together, as well as some high energy french tradition and a bit of calypso.
Released the same year as I Can, Souls Talking nonetheless has a distinctly different flavor from that companion album. Although definitely still Daisy DeBolt, different influences inflect the music of this album. Latin beats and guitar riffs are the most noticeable additions to the cornucopia of musical instruments and styles DeBolt sews together, as well as some high energy French tradition and a bit of Calypso. As always, her rich and unforgettable voice ties together a great band of musicians to create yet another joyous and poignant collection of songs.
"Come Hell or High Water" leads as a kind of quintessential DeBolt tune, full of instruments ranging from the ever-present accordion to a synthesizer to a tambourine. The mixture of blues, gospel and rock all set to a country beat make a lively beginning and set one''s feet, if not entire body, dancing.
"Eagle Hill" is the first which shows the Latin beat, and continues marvelously the jam-session feeling with the numerous voices and instruments chiming in seemingly on whims. It is a love song, and a happy one, which begins another shift from I Can. Souls Talking feels like a more personal album in the way that it addresses mainly relationships rather than the landscape or concerns of the singer alone.
"Epic Aire" is a long crescendo of a ballad, again focusing on examining a search for a relationship. A true story-song, it follows the narrator on a long journey to find her absent lover after, as the lyrics say, "the cat looks at me like I''m not even there" and the memories seem to have fled too far afield. The lyrics are shown as strong as on I Can, with clear, precise, and familiar images provoked with the ease of a practiced storyteller.
"Dreams Cost Money" has almost a carousel melody backed by a truly rocking beat and wailing guitar. The pulsing bass and guitar are perfect in this argument set to music. The energy is deliciously at loose ends toward the beginning and then resolved by the hope for a peacemaker with a great a cappella finale.
"Catalunya Sun" is the second track with a distinct Latin beat, this time mingled with rolling drums and a wandering guitar melody. The song is a long and lazy description of waiting for the night in the Southern climates, concentrating on the rhythm of ease during the day and the dance and energy of the night: "They save their movement''s for the night." The music draws you through the town and hours convincingly as the song completes it cycle.
"Sometimes" marks the first of what I''ve come to label her torch songs. These are the best songs to show off her voice, accompanied as it is by a piano, though more instruments join in as the song progresses.
"Monte Leuze Bleuze" brings the songs back again to the Southwest. "Memories never die," this song is fine example of DeBolt''s unusual analogies drawn out over a couple of verses, which provide both interesting images to ponder and carefully observations of the subject of the song. DeBolt has a knack for powerfully evoking either a person or place and this song is perhaps the cleanest example of it.
"Cage Monte" is the French addition to the album, which seems almost a polka, and returns the aura of the album again to light-hearted fun, dancing and, of course, expert musicianship.
"The Ballad of Edouard Beaupre," from a poem written by Michael Ondaatje, is I think my favorite of the slow songs. She manages to reach almost a (dare I say it) Billie Holiday tone, conveying all the loneliness and desperation of the subject, a ballad of the solitude of what many consider freakishness, the hero being 8-foot-6 and over 300 pounds. The song is ghostly and harrowing not only from the beauty of the words but from the power of DeBolt''s delivery.
"Blue Jays Mocking Me" makes a cheerful finish for the album, encouraging shedding the winter blues even if warmer weather isn''t quite there yet. Again the lyrics are magical: "Spring is the gift of Winter''s dreams," and the joy behind the music pulls everything together into a great conclusion.
The two Daisy DeBolt albums I''ve encountered are difficult to compare or decide between. All of her recordings are full of her spirit, which is really all I can ask of any musician, and the feeling that she is one musician who''s doing what she''s always wanted and probably was meant to do is inescapable.
ALBUM LINER NOTES
We began Soulstalking in August, 1989 and finished recording in May of 1991. It was a long haul. So many people made this album possible. To the musicians who played and sang with so much joy in their hearts, thank you. Oh can''t you see I''m smiling.
John "Peacemaker" Switzer and Jeff Wolpert got this music down clear and right.
William Weckesser assisted me in making it happen.
I thank Larry Stanley most of all for helping shape and arrange my songs. He is the core. Jaro, accordion fever is instilled forever in my bones. Robert David my old buddy, we did it! Awlright! Hey Marty!
Thank you to the poets of our country who give us wisdom and have contributed lyrics to these songs: Jean Marc Dalpe, Patrice Desbiens, Robert Dickson, Brigitte Haentjens, Michael Ondaatje.
January 14, 1992, Sudbury, Ontario, Wind-chill -53C
A Message From The Producer
Manitoulin Island. Not a sun-drenched vacation paradise; a different kind of holiday. Elemental, beautiful, powerful; rain and billowing clouds and clear icy water.
Daisy was camping with her family. Hooded and bundled, huddled around the campfire, just being. We visited.
We had a cabin: "Come over tonight".
And so we ate and drank and talked and sang. Guitars and spoons and pounding bottles and stomping feet.
That night night Daisy had a dream. Later it became a song. In the dream I was the "Peacemaker".
Thus I became part of a vision, more than just a producer on a project. The vision was expansive, kind of larger than life, like Daisy, and encompassing; many others were gathered in the sweep of it. And though its pace was slow, its course was resolute, and its consequence inevitable.
There was no choice but to make this record. Daisy willed it, and the strength of that will is obvious in these songs, expressed in joy and pain, wonder and love, with that voice: elemental, beautiful, powerful...
Like Manitoulin when the clouds roll across the bay, and then just as quickly depart to unveil the warmth of the afternoon sun.
Produced by john Switzer
Engineered by Jeff Wolpert, Assisted by David Stinton, Michael Roper & Jacques Portier
Recorded and Mixed at Inception Sound, Toronto
Mixed by John Switzer, Jeff Wolpert and Daisy DeBolt
Digital Editing by Rob Yale at Digital Music
Mastered by George Braves at The Laquer Channel
Executive Producer - Daisy DeBolt
Project Co-ordinator - William Weckesser
Consultant - Brain Blain
Art Direction - Patrick Borody
Daisy DeBolt - Lead Vocals
Selections 1, 2, 4 & 8 Choir 1: Marcel Aymar, Jaro Czerwinec, Daisy, Evenlyne Datl, Denney Kennedy, Larry Stanley, John Switzer (#4 only), Brent Titcomb & David Woodhead
Selections 5 & 7 - Choir 2: Marcel Aymar, Pamela Betts, Larry Stanley, Daisy, Denny Kennedy, Maggo, Brent Titcomb, Sam Walton & David Woodhead