Cosy Sheridan,
Live at CedarHouse
(Waterbug, 2006)

Live at CedarHouse was recorded live in the studio, in front of a small audience. The tracks and songs on the CD share a feel of being close to the musicians. Some of it is from the songs Cosy Sheridan plays, some of it is from how clearly you can sometimes hear the banter between the musicians and audience.

The set starts off with "The Land of 10,000 Mothers," which paints a very idealistic picture. The banter that follows with the introductions is part of what makes live performances what they are. Cosy quietly hands out some very good advise in "Walk On." The story that leads into "Some Fires" meanders gently into the song. She lets humor make the point in "Botox Tango."

The delivery of "Anthymn" keeps the lyrics feeling like a tale unfolding, bringing out the wonder in the moment. History and humor cross in "Hannibal Crossed the Alps," and the results are quite amusing. Memories overlap tenderly in "George & His 88 Keys," which could so easily be a requiem for a loved one.

There is a musical public service announcement in "The Ladies Room" it is rather short and silly. Everything is stretched through the lyrics of "How Will the Center Hold" as the imagery keeps pulling in all directions. There is longing in the lyrics of "Too Much Time" as hope and fears swirl in the music and words.

Cosy changes gears for a song that could fit into a cabaret with "Jumwillies." One could dance quietly to "The Introvert Waltz" as the lyrics give a good sense of what being introverted can mean. The place described in "My Mother's House" sounds like such a lovely place to visit for a spell. Various characters from a children's tale meet up in the story she tells as the night is winding down. The guitars give backing for another story in "Harold & His Grand Design" as the story drifts into song as it ends.

Live at CedarHouse has all the feel of catching a show in a small venue. There are a couple of small hiccups along the way, but the music keeps going in spite of them and the laughter keeps the moments light. The CD does what a live CD should do: give you a taste of what the performer sounds like live and give you a reason to want more of the same.

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review by
Paul de Bruijn

22 March 2008

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