If you are anything
like me, the name Andrea Zonn means absolutely nothing to you,
but, rest assured, when you hear this little gem it will spend
hours in your player of choice. She's a Nashville gal. Her mother
and father are musicians and she has been playing violin since
she was five. She began to feel restricted by the boundaries of
classical and decided to branch out into country fiddle where she
quickly excelled, rising to competition level at the tender age
of ten and competing with another young state fiddler who was
going places at eight, her name was Allison Krauss!
You get my drift huh? And now to the album. Andrea sings all of the lead vocals on this remarkable set of contemporary material. Her clear soprano voice has a warmth and depth that makes each track a personal statement and on occasions, just rips your heart out. There is a great mix of rhythms throughout kicking off with a rip snorter, Heads Up For The Wrecking Ball This is a Beth Nielson Chapman song which soars under the guidance of Alison Krauss on harmony vocals, Tim O'Brien mandolin, Alison Brown on banjo, and an amazing whistle and concertina player, John Mock. It's so sparse and clean that you know within two or three bars, that you're in for a rare treat.
She hasn't fallen into the trap of trying to write anything clever, rather she has used very good song writers and worked on her own versions of songs she'd likes to do. Other stand-out tracks for me are Karla Bonnof's beautiful ballad If He's Ever Near with Jerry Douglas playing Dobro, In My Own Back Yard, Vince Gill doing high harmony (she's in his band), Galilee Road that shuffles along so smoothly it's gone before it arrives, and a stunning version of Paul Brady's Love Goes On.
There are two Neil Finn songs Better Be Home Soon and Weather With You and while she does them nicely, they don't do much for me. Maybe I've heard them both too often and they sound not too much different from the originals.
This album has quite an 'old time religion' feel to it with The Whites and Amy Grant lending their considerable talents in the vocal dept. To quote a good friend of mine, American Country Music is littered with folk who 'Love George Bush and Jesus' and don't that just say it all!
To summarize, this album is just about as seamless as it gets. I find myself just wanting to play press ŒReplay' on most of the tracks and even the religious feel to some of it, doesn't detract or sound pretentious. Andrea plays violin and viola on some of the tracks and this in itself, sets it apart. The whole timbre is different and gives so much more warmth and depth to this style of musicianship. Get out there and buy this stunning debut, you won't be disappointed.
P.S. If you love music, don't flog it off the Net, support musicians and the industry or better still, learn to play an instrument!