Liz Zelvin,
Outrageous Older Woman
(independent, 2012)

Liz Zelvin is a storyteller.

Those of us who know her as a short-story writer, novelist and poet weren't surprised to learn she's also a songwriter. Now we've discovered she's an equally good singer and musician.

A psychotherapist in New York City, Zelvin's been singing and playing for her own enjoyment since her teens, though never considering it as a professional venture. Her interest in making music was rekindled in the late 1990s when she began songwriting workshops and jamming with other musicians.

There's a tremendous range in these 16 original songs, which echo the life experiences of a vibrant, intelligent woman with a good sense of humor. Love is a consistent theme, though only three of the songs actually deal with love. There are reminders of the '60s in songs like "The Rain Came Down" and "Hell, No, We Won't Go." She laughs (and invites us to laugh along) at aging in "Creeping Age." Nostalgia is evident in "The House That I Called Home" and "We've Come a Long Way." There's even a bit of klezmer in the delightful "Sheldon, Please Come Home." A bonus track, "Two Tall Towers," is a tribute to the lives lost on 9/11.

One thing that is most clear is she and her fellow musicians had fun creating this album. She explains her use of the term "outrageous older woman" is meant to convey one who is uninhibited and willing to take a chance of new ventures. The labor of love in producing this album is an example of that spirit.

Zelvin accompanies herself on guitar and keyboard and is backed by Randy Crafton, drums, percussion; Amy Fradon and Ben Silver, vocals; Robin Greenstein, banjo, vocals; Gene Hicks, violin, keyboard; Zach Hicks, clarinet; Barry Kornhauser, guitar, bass, cello; Gina Tlamsa, flute, pennywhistle; and John Parrott and John Sheehan, guitar.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
John R. Lindermuth

21 April 2012

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