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Maggie Laird: One More Manhattan

Jim Olin By

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Washington State-based singer/songwriter Maggie Laird traveled to Nashville to record her new EP, One More Manhattan, and the stylistic electicism and rootsy authenticity of that legendary music city echoes in every track. Produced by Fett from Nashville's Azalea Music, One More Manhattan unveils Laird's versatility, from vocal jazz to country to pop. Laird balances it all with a soulful, sexy vocal style and stellar instrumentation from her top-drawer band.

Of all the songs on One More Manhattan, "Iowa Moon" is the closest to sounding like it emanated from Nashville. Tim Lorsch's swirling fiddle delivers that Americana swing as Laird's smoky vocals and Dave Hoffner's punchy keyboards produce irresistible hooks. It's quite a departure from Laird's '80s New Wave days with Blackwood-Laird, but that was over 30 years ago. The slow-jam title track fully embodies Laird's passion for jazz. Laird's caressing voice blends well with Hoffner's rainy-day piano. The message of romance and regret resonates through the world-weariness in Laird's bluesy singing.

The acoustic ballad "Music in the Sky" has a dreamy, wind-swept atmosphere that calls for a cinematic treatment. Chas Williams' crystalline guitars deepen the Euro pop of "Language of Love." Probably the most heartwarming song on the EP, it also features Laird's most playful performance. Warm as honey and just as sweet, "Language of Love" is unfiltered ear candy and is utterly delicious.

One More Manhattan offers a wide range of emotions that utilize Laird's talent for vividly capturing the feelings of the characters in these compelling narratives.

Track Listing: Iowa Moon; One More Manhattan; Music in the Sky; Victim of Circumstance; The Language of Love.

Personnel: Maggie Laird: vocals/keyboards; Chas Williams: guitars; Dave Hoffner: keyboards; Dave Webb: upright and electric bass; Todd Zimberg: drums and percussion; William Huber: trombone ("Music in the Sky"); Tim Lorsch: fiddle ("Iowa Moon").

Title: One More Manhattan | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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