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4.7 out of 5 stars62
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 29 August 2008
I was introduced to Eva Cassidy in the late 90s and have purchased every CD of her work released since then. This new release caught me by surprise, discovering it in Amazon's New Releases section on the very day it was released. Boy am I glad I didn't miss it! Despite Live At Blues Alley being one of my all-time Top 10 albums, this is in great danger of becoming my favourite Eva album to date.

It is certainly better produced than previous works (not over-produced) with the luxury of Eva's own backing vocals now being added into the mix, along with retrospectively recorded instrumental parts. The light and shade of the album, therefore, shows greater disparity than ever before. Eva's cover of Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colours is sung in her trademark mellifluous style, which, rather than wrenching out your heart and dancing on it in stilletto heels as Dolly does, simply bathes you in the love felt by the singer for her mother's kindness. My Love is Like a Red Red Rose and A Bold Young Farmer are drawn from the folk tradition that Eva seemed to have flowing through her veins. Both interpretations are without doubt the best performances of those songs I have ever heard. Her cover of Walkin' After Midnight is so different to the versions I know well (Patsy Cline and The Cowboy Junkies) that it took me a while to recognise - she brings a depth to the song I had not heard before.

Saving the best for last, though, the inclusion of the self-penned Somewhere as the album's closer is a masterstroke. I hope it is a hint of more of Eva's own songs lurking away on a shelf and destined for a future release. Somewhere is up there with her versions of Over The Rainbow, Fields of Gold and What a Wonderful World as an absolute masterclass in vocal performance. She moves from subtle-without-being-boring (eat your heart out Katie Melua) to storming into your ears and demanding your attention, without her voice ever losing its shape, its depth or its warmth (are you listening Christina, Mariah and the rest of the Wailers?). It's softly gospelly layered backing vocals, from Eva's own multitracked voice alone, support her stunning lead to passionate, triumphant effect. Even if you're not a fan of Eva, this last track alone will have you converted in an instant. It's not often you hear a genius at work, but this is one of those rare occasions. Buy it and revel in the glory of one of the best tracks ever recorded.
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on 28 August 2008
As a long time Eva Cassidy fan this album caught me off guard. It is not the smooth flowing series of ballads one would expect from this singer yet in many ways it just could be something better! The album is a direct response to recording companies who originally tried to limit Eva to one type of music. Eva had the ability to master Standards, Country, R&B and Folk and herein lies the proof.

Fans of Eva's cover of "Fields Of Gold" will be quick to internalize the heartbreak in "A Bold Young Farmer", sung with trademark vocals which attack the nervous system faster than any virus known to man. Another folk selection, "Red Red Rose", is a close second in this emotional breakdown category because it is sung more true to it's origin as a Burns poem than as a bold ballad. This rose is a true love letter sung as if written on parchment.

The award winning album, Live At Blues Alley, might have been even better had it included two songs from this new album. "Ain't Doin' Too Bad" retains her vocals from the historic Jan 3, 1996 appearance while also adding a new backing by original band members plus a horn section. If you ever wondered what Eva would have sounded like accompanied by the full complement of musicians she deserved this is the answer. Fans of the band will applaud the piano introduction by Lenny Williams, Keith Grimes's guitar solo and Raice McLeod's "made to order" drums. Chris Biondo, Eva's long time producer and band member (bass), is superb in his producing of this track.

Eva's country music fans will immediately notice the Dolly Parton song, "Coat Of Many Colors", and an americana version of Don Hecht's "Walkin' After Midnight". In both songs, Keith Grimes offers sublime support on guitar.

Eva sings without the safety net of her regular band in "Early One Morning". The album liner notes contain a photo of Eva's handwritten lyrics offering the first of two songs that indicate her skills progressed far beyond interpretation. Dobro and slide guitar work by Rob Cooper are perfect complements to Eva's vocals.

Reinventing American Popular Song Standards was one of Eva's most unusual skills. Those who applaud her treatment of Irving Berlin's "Cheek To Cheek" on the Blues Alley release will quickly agree that she has pulled another musical rabbit out of a tophat with her version of the Gershwins "Summertime". This take is one that sits so easily under a shade tree that you will spend hours trying to think of similar versions. Don't waste your energy. Eva's folk based interpretation is a true original.

Any discussion of Eva's potential as a songwriter is now closed with the addition of the recording's title song, "Somewhere". Co-written with Chris Biondo (music), Eva's lyrics are far from casual and suggest a longing for love that may also apply to her need to create music..."and I like an arrow straight for love I went again". Fans of Eva Cassidy will only understand her full creative force when they hear this song complete with her own multi-voice background vocals, dynamics that change within verse, and phrasing that always finds the maximum emotion. To borrow from the lyrics, "for a moment or for a lifetime" this is Eva Cassidy.
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on 27 August 2008
This is an incredible album, I've only had it a few days but it's already one of my absolute favourites. I can't believe these tracks haven't been released before, they are so good! It's also extremely varied, more so than any previous Eva album. Bold Young Farmer and Red Red Rose are just about equal to anything on Songbird and Won't Be Long gives anything on Live At Blues Alley a run for its money. The songs which feature new instrument recordings are also great, especially Chain of Fools which sounds seriously funky and up-to-date. My favourite track has to be Somewhere which finishes the album, it's like nothing I've ever heard before, very powerful and moving. I would strongly recommend this album to all Eva Cassidy fans, enjoy!
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on 9 August 2009
I absolutely love Eva Cassidy's story, magnificent recordings and beautiful song renditions. Each time I buy a new CD I find a new hidden gem of a song, 'Somewhere' is literally the best CD released yet. The last song, and name of the CD, 'Somewhere' is a completed version of a song Eva part recorded before she died, completed by the people who recorded and worked on the original version. It is the correct recording of a song that has been overplayed in its unfinished frame, and it is absolutely gorgeous. The CD connects Eva's beautiful ballads such as 'My love is like a red red rose', which brought me to tears, and more lively tracks to show Eva's true beauty in her voice to the full. It's beautiful, warm, fun, emotional, and Eva. The best CD memory to her yet.
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on 27 August 2008
Is there nothing Eva Cassidy can't sing? I don't think I've heard such a complete vocal masterclass in one album before, simply breathtaking. Anyone into music will LOVE this album.
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Eva is renowned for her diverse taste in music, and for reflecting that in her recordings. However, I hadn't noticed any country influences until I bought this album. It features three country songs - Coat of many colors (the Dolly Parton classic), Blue eyes crying in the rain (originally by Roy Acuff, though it is more likely that Eva learned it from Willie Nelson's version) and Walkin' after midnight (the Patsy Cline classic). The album also includes My love is like a red red rose, the Robert Burns classic. All four are excellent, though I am particularly impressed by Eva's versions of Blue eyes crying in the rain and Walkin' after midnight.

The rest of this collection is more typical of what I expect to find in Eva's music and is also excellent. Perhaps my favourite among these is Summertime (the Gershwin classic), but her cover of Chain of fools (Aretha Franklin) is another highlight.

Fantastic as ever from Eva.
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on 6 September 2008
I'm a longtime fan of Eva Cassidy's wonderful voice and style. I think I have all her albums and those albums provide a lot of the background music for my life. Her all-too-soon death took a marvelous talent from this world.

That said, though, I found this album a bit disappointing. I think that with every now-deceased beloved artist, there exists a file somewhere of recorded songs that were considered for earlier albums and put aside because they weren't quite good enough. Then, when the artist dies, there's a scramble to unearth these items and create an album from them. It doesn't always work: those songs were filed away for good reason.

And while I find this album enjoyable, that seems to be the case here. I don't find it nearly as good as her earlier offerings.
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on 19 June 2013
Just love Evas voice,the main reason for buying this album was for the song (blue eyes crying in the rain).The other tracks
where quite good may be not to my taste over all a excellent listen.

mando
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on 28 January 2013
A good mix of music from this artist, everything from country to jazz (almost). It makes me want to sing along. No quibbles and would recommend it to anyone who likes easy listening and a good tune
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on 12 November 2013
Another lovely Eva album for all Cassidy fans out there. Nice eclectic mix of songs, many of which I had not heard Eva's unique rendition of before. Highly recommended and great value for money!
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