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Shifting Sands: Velvet Mantle

Jim Santella By

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A duo recording can allow you to absorb every nuance of the performance. Singer Deborah Winter and pianist Joanne Lander interpret a program of fourteen original songs on this 35-minute recording, offering a highly personal visit. As the session's mood shifts from cool to melancholy and on to laid-back and casual, you can feel the emotion. They bring a wholesome spirit to each piece and cover the session with a "velvet mantle.

Winter, who is reassuring through her lullaby textures, coats each selection with warm fuzzies. She cites Patricia Barber and Andy Bey as inspirational sources, and from that background, you can feel deep feelings and communication driving her performance.

Lander turns up the heat on this session. She comps persuasively behind Winter's lovely themes with a cohesive pull, and then launches forceful piano attacks in selected spots for emphasis. Together, they shift each mood gently from scene to scene. Winter interprets lyrics with a casual air and delivers wordless vocals with a thrill. Much of the program refers to a Celtic music tradition that spans centuries.

Thus, the duo holds fast to a timeless landscape. Shifting Sands delivers from the heart on Velvet Mantle with a performance that applies to folk of all generations and all backgrounds: it's universal.


Track Listing: Velvet Mantle; Haunting Melody; Ocean Sound; Aurora

Personnel: Deborah Winter: vocals, backing vocals; Jo Lander: piano, backing vocals.

Title: Velvet Mantle | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced

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