Hear The Track HereRegular readers may remember me yapping on about a website called Kickstarter in a review earlier this month (Ed: Pam Shaffer - Henry) where her entire album was funded by ordinary folk like you or I. Neat idea. Now, here's another one from the same process so obviously it's worth a shot if you want to make a REAL (ie not always digital) recording of your songs/music. Like Pam, Lia Rose has recorded her album in a professional recording studio, and had it mastered by TW Walsh (Sufjan Stevens, Damien Jurado). All financed by small denomination payments from anyone interested in the project, so again I say, here is a resource that is tailor-made for the unsigned musical world. More to the point, she premiered it at a special concert in San Francisco where all proceeds went to Free The Hikers, a site dedicated to freeing three hitchhikers arrested while in Iraq Kurdistan by Iranian forces and now held in Tehran. As a classic example of one hand washing the other, I can thing of nothing finer. We the people finance the project, the project finances something else...and so on and so on.
Now that is what the net is about!!
When You Need Me Most is a thirteen track album (with, I think Lia, Jon Latimer, Michael Fecskes, Daniel Mckenzie, Eric Kuhn and others) and, if I were honest, the first connection I made was with Norah Jones or even (at a pinch) Kate Melua, both of which are fine by me. As well piano and backline instrumentation, Lia has also added substantial quantities of violin, cello, pedal steel, trumpet, tuba and stand-up bass so there's a bit more to it than someone sitting there playing and singing. Lia uses these elements extremely well, the arrangements are as sparse and effective as they need to be and nothing steps in the way of everything else. One the highlights for me, not really being that much into the musical style which is a bit too laid back for my taste, is the way the various instruments have been used to colour each track, very skillful.
One thing is for certain, no hint of raucousness here,Lia is definitely not a rocker but hey, there's room for everything, right? Although most of the album does remind me of the singers I have named, it would be wrong to say that Lia is copying them - she just fits in with the current trend which is exactly what she should be doing. Certainly people who like Ms Jones, Melula et al will find much to like about this fine collection of songs, even if a long haired scruff like me doesn't take to it. Musically, I think Lia is very good, utilising jazz rhythms, folk-rock and soft, easy listening to get her songs across and - best thing of all - she has the kind of voice that slips easily into the spaces between your ears and - if you are willing - gives them a nice backrub and soak. Can't beat that on a stressful day, I tell ya...
Highly Recommended folky rock (kinda sorta folky rock anyway)