Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche – I Can Still Hear You
With the death of Kate McGarrigle (the McGarrigle Sisters from Canada) the output of that beautiful music began to fade in 2010. Like The McGarrigle’s, the Park Ridge, NJ trio of The Roches also had sadness when their eldest sister Maggie passed in 2017. Effectively ending the trio.
This LP includes Maggie’s beautiful song “Jane” about portraits of undervalued women. I enjoy that pensive music with lyrical poetry & memorable melodies that aren’t always easy subjects. Suzzy Roche & daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche continues the tradition. Together, they shed light on troubled times on their 3rd LP.
Suzzy Roche, 1/3 of The Irish-American trio is ever so intense that her sisters were good enough to attract the attention of King Crimson’s Robert Fripp who produced them & played guitar.
Married to folk singer Loudon Wainwright III he is what Suzzy & the late Kate McGarrigle had in common – that, music & talented children.
While the Roches were eccentric in their musical approach, they had unusual, rich & amazing harmonies. Ms. Roche & Lucy recreate the “sound” of those groups & what made them popular is found on this LP.
I Can Still Hear You (drops Oct 30/Storysound) produced by Jordan Brooke Hamlin in Nashville. Despite the Covid-19 themes, the songs are strong. With personal loss & turmoil helping to conceive a lovely collection isn’t worth analyzing, not here.
The 41-minute CD with 11-thought provoking songs to touch upon many subjects, fears & concerns. Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers (guitar/vocals) appears on 4 cuts & Amy Ray adds vocals (“Factory Girl” & “Ruins”). The voices tainted with hauntingly frailty & at times with its childish tone is powerful on the excellent & traditional “Factory Girl.” Yet, their signature tone is stirring, emotional & riveting. The equally full-bodied “Get the Better,” & “Little,” are superb.
“I Can Still Hear You,” starts vibrantly. Their dual voices are bright, sincere & expressive. It’s an attractive vocalizing style captured seamlessly by two women. This song written by Lucy Wainwright Roche proves she’s an acorn that hasn’t fallen too far from the tree.
The LP with instinctive respective linen shimmering vocals on “Ruins” has laid back diversified musicians – multi-instrumentalist Jordan Hamlin, Lucy & Suzzy (acoustic/electric guitars), Scott Mulvahill (bass), Brian Griffin (drums), & Eric Slick (drums/mellotron).
It’s subtle & splendid. This is excellent late-night listening with eyes closed by a fireplace & reminiscing. The melodies conjure memories. “Talkin’ Like You (Two Tall Mountains)” reminds me of the phrasing of the late Dory Previn — a fabulous writer & performer.
Suzzy & Lucy should cover the Dvorak melody “Goin’ Home,” from the film “The Snake Pit.” (sung by Jan Clayton) & Adam Mitchell’s “The French Waltz.”
There’s isn’t a poor track on this LP & it will be one of the year’s best.