Deirdre Flint,
The Shuffleboard Queens
(self-released, 1999)

I've heard singer-songwriters speak of the way they hope their songs will move an audience and make us think. They want us to take something meaningful away with us. At the risk of revealing my shallow nature, sometimes I just want to relax and be entertained. Yes, laughter is a good thing, and whether you hear Deirdre Flint live or listen to her CD, The Shuffleboard Queens, you can be sure of plenty of that good thing. The meaning you'll also find is a sweet bonus. Deirdre takes the adventures, disappointments and absurdities of life and spins them into gold.

Her vocal style can be soulful, perky or sexy by turns, girlish to -- well ... macho is too strong a word. Listen to "Fishlands" and you'll know what I mean. Deirdre is similarly eclectic in her choice of rhythm, and tempo, from the fast-paced "Cheerleader" to the pretty ballad, "Marrow of My Bone."

It's impossible to do justice to these songs in a review. Deirdre is a fine musician and songwriter, and her hilarious lyrics could be harsh if she didn't deliver them with such great playfulness. The CD begins with "We Fit Right," and describes a match not made in heaven: "We bicker, we fight, we argue all night / And I don't think a future bodes well with that." "Cheerleader" is so funny and over-the-top that even a former cheerleader whom I consulted enjoyed it. But then, according to Deirdre, "the fun doesn't end and your hair is your friend when you're a cheerleader!"

"King of the Rollerama" has a special appeal for me, as I remember admiring a similar roller rink star in my youth. "The Bridesmaid Dress Song" features the miraculous re-use of a truly terrible dress. "The Boob Fairy" bemoans the lack of a certain endowment, and if "Fishlands" doesn't sound at least vaguely reminiscent of something else, you are clearly not from Jersey.

"The Shuffleboard Queens" appropriately features just Deirdre and her guitar in a wistful song about women's friendships and dreams. Producer Greg Horne provides an understated touch with electric guitar that never overpowers Deirdre's own acoustic in "Marrow," and he provides bass support on several other songs. Hoagy Wing on percussion, Michael Comstock and Seth Goldberg on drums, Harry Jacobson on electric guitar, and Laura Brereton's vocals also contribute to the great sound.

[ by R.B. Hoffman ]

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