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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Siren Songs

Siren Songs

Review by Gary Hill

As you can probably gather from the cover, this act is essentially a duo (Merideth Kaye Clark and Jenn Grinels)., but there are joined by a couple of other musicians on some of the tunes here. This is acoustic music with great harmonies. There are several cover songs among the originals. The general style of the music probably leans more toward folk, but there are bluegrass, jazz and country leanings here and there, too. This is a very effective set that I heartily recommend for fans of this type of music. It's quality stuff.

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Track by Track Review
Goodnight Sun, Hello Moon
I love the intricate guitar on this mellow number. The vocal harmonies really make it work, though.
I have to confess that I've always loved this song. I have collected varying versions of it for years. With a bit of a down home bluegrass vibe to the musical arrangement, this is a great rendition. This arrangement and performance does a great job of capturing the evocative nature of the piece and making the melodies really shine.
They turn this old chestnut into an intriguing folk tune. It's sedate, pretty and effective.

There is a bit of a jazzy edge to this cut. It makes me think of something Rickie Lee Jones. I love the inventive vocal arrangement. While the almost bluesy acoustic guitar part is great, it's really the singing that makes this truly magical.

Chelsea Morning
Taking on a classic Joni Mitchell tune, this has more of a folk rock feeling behind it. Energetic and rather soaring, I like this, but it's not at the same level as the tunes that came before it.
A much gentler arrangement makes up this piece. The guitar has some great melodies picked on it. The vocals are pretty and evocative. There are hints of jazz here, but overall it's a folk-styled number. It's another standout piece, too.
Angel From Montgomery
We lost John Prine (who wrote this song) earlier this year. There is a bit of a down-home element to the piece. The banjo is a nice touch.
For Good
This gentle and intricate tune is particularly pretty and evocative.
Time After Time
Cyndi Lauper might not be the most likely of artists for this act to cover, but they put in an intriguing version of her song. I've always said that if you are going to do a cover song you should change it and make it your own. Clearly they have done that. The beauty of the melody manages to shine brighter in this arrangement somehow. It's exactly what you'd expect them to do with the tune, a gentle folky kind of version. I prefer the original, but this is a very effective and worthwhile alternate interpretation.
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