A feast for the ears, Tamara Lewis’s “Long Time, No See” CD
This CD is a treat. It is elegant simplicity. First, it’s a simple duet structure. Meaning, she plays guitar, sings the vocal, and one other instrument joins in, with the exception of one song, Just Because. In that song she is accompanied by two other instruments played by one musician. The duets include a violin, cello, dobro, pedal steel, and lead guitar. You know what that means? That means there is no room for error, and there is none here.
Besides this delightful duet nature of instruments, Tamara has a skill with song writing. These songs are beautiful, and well crafted. Take for example the aforementioned Just Because. The lead guitar is a call and echo of the vocals. In the song Loose Ends World, there is an artful ghosting used. If you follow the lyrics, the last line of the verse follows on the next line on the liner notes, but the song has a definite ghost of three beats. Haunting and cool at the same time.
Tamara does simile well, and metaphor, and can turn a phrase. I measure against other folk artists like Greg Brown, John Gorka, Eliza Gilkyson, Lucy Kaplansky and the late Bill Morrissey, and Tamara Lewis is equal to them. More than anything though, this CD is intimate. Overpoweringly so, to the extent the lyrics and music catapault the heart into memory. Isn’t that what a good song should do? Songs like Listen Me Back, This Good Bye, and Strawberry Moon. One might wonder how she can sing these songs without crying. The open heartedness of this recording is a treasure.
This CD is Tamara’s first. Yes, amazing is right. Partly though, a reviewer might get scared. What could be better? The lyricism, the construction, the stories, and a beautiful voice. In some ways it doesn’t matter. It is what it is, and that is very good indeed, and that’s an understatement. Listen to her “like a gem you have found.”
Do yourself a favor. If you like folk music, then purchase this CD. If you know anyone who likes folk music, buy it for them.
A feast for the ears, and a feast for the heart. Tamara Lewis’, Long Time, No See.