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Tanya Dennis: White Sails Blue Skies

Richard J Salvucci BY

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Tanya Dennis: White Sails Blue Skies
Ok. Perhaps you were not a fan of the Netflix smash hit, Narcos. The series was brutal, but it did have its placid moments. Its theme, "Tuyo," performed by the Brazilian singer Narciso Amarante, defined "hypnotic." Netflix, of course, allows viewers to skip repetitive series introductions, but no one skipped "Tuyo." "Where You Are," a Dennis original, suffers not at all by comparison with "Tuyo." You may drift through her "White Sails" in a kind of fog after hearing "Where You Are," but the music only improves with repeated listening.

"The World Can Do Without Us Today" is one of the most (in)decently sensual tunes to hit the air since Maria Muldaur's "Midnight at the Oasis." Dennis' "Let's Make Love For Al We're Worth" recalls "You won't need no camel honey, when I take you for a ride." While Muldaur could count on Amos Garrett's guitar to bring you along, Dennis has Hendrik Meurkens' harmonica to set the mood. Her Norah Jones-ish kind of stylings and their underlying melodies are lush and lovely.

"Desolation Sound" with Dennis on the violin—a fiddle was her original instrument— is literally a Desert Island song. I want you "All To Myself," Dennis informs. Have you had a better offer lately? The music is as sensuous as can be and stays on the safe side of PG. And it only gets better with repeated listenings. Dennis paints with words and music. Her time slips behind the beat, like a sailboat's wake. Everything comes together here.

Dennis has an intriguing background. She is not only a singer and a writer, but she produces and sails as well. Her background includes stints with the arch-bopper Ira Sullivan and work in Nashville as a back-up singer, and also as an instrumentalist on mandolin. She is nothing, if not a recommendation for the virtues of genre-trespassing. You look forward to more because she is extraordinarily talented and creative. Dennis' music is good for the soul, whether you have been out on a sailboat lately or not, or even if you don't particularly like the water. Dennis calls her style "world fusion," and this recording as music to sail by, it is eminently worth hearing. As for the sailboat, you will have to get your own.

Track Listing

Chiaroscura; Till You; Slow Reckless Tango; Where You Are; White Sails; The World Can Do Without Us Today; Indigo; Desolation Sound; All To Myself.

Personnel

Tanya Dennis: voice / vocals; Matt Berry: guitar, acoustic; Jim Ferguson: bass, acoustic; David Martin: guitar; Dann Sherrill: percussion; Scott Halgren: piano; John Richards: guitar, acoustic; Noah Hungate: percussion; Billy Panda: guitar, acoustic; Hendrik Meurkins: harmonica.

Album information

Title: White Sails Blue Skies | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Paloma Records

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