Andy & Denise,
(self-produced, 2002)

Andy and Denise are an acoustic pop-folk duo based in Philadelphia. Go is their third album, but you might also catch them live, playing coffeehouses, clubs and festivals across the eastern seaboard.

Their own vocals and guitar are backed by violin, bass and percussion for the first track, "South," which is a song of the open road. The bass and percussion reappear a few times, giving the pair a more varied sound, but they turn in a sunny performance with bright harmonies and singing guitars whether accompanied or not.

The songs are varied. As well as love lost (in "No Lie") and won (in "Move into My Heart"), there's a song that was inspired by the Oklahoma bombing memorial ("Empty Chairs") and what the sleeve notes tells us is a true story about an Alaskan dog ("Winter"). There's also a song about "Living in Suburbia" that sounds like an anthem to shopping malls, kids playing kick-the-can and double-coupon days. I suspect that there's meant to be a hint of irony in it, but to me it just sounded as though I was meant to be uplifted by the prospect of waking "wrapped in Martha Stewart's finest linens." If Denise is singing with her tongue in cheek here -- and given the depiction of the couple who couldn't escape the wonderland of "147, White Oak Lane," I think she should be -- I missed it.

This is a pleasant enough album though. I'm not saying I'd travel a thousand miles to seek them out, but if Andy & Denise were in the neighbourhood I'd certainly want to drop in for a good evening's entertainment.

- Rambles
written by Jean Lewis
published 19 July 2003

[ visit the artist's website ]

Buy it from