Friday, June 16, 2006

Just My Heart for You by Curtis & Loretta

Curtis and Loretta have a new CD Just My Heart for You, which mixes folk songs and Loretta's original compositions. It may be their best CD so far. Several talented musicians assist them, including fiddler Peter Ostroushko from a Prairie Home Companion. Sandy Njoes plays bass fiddle, Sera Jane Smolen and Lori Smart play cellos, and Bill Philipp plays banjo and accordion in support of Curtis on a variety of stringed instruments and Loretta on her Irish harp and guitar. Kazoos and a pennywhistle are also used. It sounds great.

There are two very moving stories in song on the CD. Track 4 is "Can You Take Me Home?" which tells about Loretta's mother caring for her father during his years suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Track 9 is "Angel of Bergen-Belsen," which tells the story of Luba Tryszynska-Frederick saving the lives of children at a concentration camp during World War II. Later Luba joins Loretta to sing the Yiddish song "Tell Me Where Can I Go?"

Not all the songs are so serious. Curtis sings a humorous old Vaudeville song called "I Had But Fifty Cents" and they end the CD with the children's song "There Ain't No Bugs on Me." "Harps in Heaven" is perhaps the happiest sounding song on the CD.

I also really like the Irish folksong "A Health to the Company," the revival camp song "Banquet Table," and Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More." There is not a song to skip on the CD.

Curtis & Loretta are coming back to the Thomas Ford Memorial Library on January 19, 2007. Come if you can. Their entire concert schedule is on their website, which also has music samples and background information.

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