Amy & Robin,
Little Did I Know
(self-produced, 1999)

Little Did I Know is a first CD for Wichita duo Amy Korth and Robin Taylor. The eleven songs included here are all written by Amy, though both ladies provide vocals. Amy also plays guitar, with Robin on keyboards and occasional other instruments including maracas and slidewhistle.

Described as "neo-folk," they have a singular sort of sound that seems to combine folk and pop with hints of classical singing (vocal acrobatics, for lack of a better phrase). Whichever of the ladies sings lead (and I'm afraid the liner notes don't tell us), has a strong, low voice, while her companion's higher voice soars in the background. The contrast makes for a great combination.

The CD begins with "Ireland," a song about lovers who have known one another before. The bodhran and soaring background vocals evoke a feeling of mystery. "That's What I've Been Praying For" talks about avoiding things which remind the singer of an ex-lover. "Little Did I Know," the title track, could almost be about the lovers from Ireland who have known one another before. "Fine, Fine, Fine" is a bluesy romp, complete with harmonica (played by Kelly Slack) and slidewhistle. "Don't Mess With Me" is a rant about being ill-treated and becoming just a "tiny bit mean."

Next up is "Fantasize," with a bouncy middle section that talks about what she'll do while her lover is away. "You'll Never Change" is an unhappy tune about lovers growing apart. The mood goes even lower with the slow, melancholy "This Is Not My Safe Place," and the slightly more up-tempo "Even Though" is only slightly more cheerful. The gentle "Israel" makes the mood slightly more introspective as a mother sings to her child. The final track, "The Message," continues the introspection, ending the CD on a less-than-cheerful note.

Amy & Robin weave a rich tapestry of sound with their vocal blend, keyboards and guitars. They're well worth listening to.

[ by Laurie Thayer ]

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