Susannah McCorkle: Blizzard Of Lies

Track

Blizzard Of Lies

Artist

CD

How Do You Keep The Music Playing? (The Jazz Alliance 10036)

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Musicians:

Susannah McCorkle (vocals),

Ben Aronov (piano), Steve LaSpina (bass), Joey Cocuzzo (drums)

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Composed by Dave Frishberg and Samantha Frishberg

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Recorded: New York, June 1985

Susannah--how_do_you_keep_the_music_playing

Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Susannah McCorkle loved the songs of Dave Frishberg, and nearly all of her albums included a Frishberg tune. Her recording of “Blizzard Of Lies” enhances the original with a simple but effective addition to the song’s form. The song opens with a number of familiar platitudes: We must have lunch real soon/Your luggage is checked through, etc. Then the mood completely changes as the lyric declares that we’re marooned in a blizzard of lies. Frishberg’s lyrics always demand (and reward) close listening, but McCorkle takes no risk in this case: adding a two-bar extension between the platitudes and the payoff, she sings the one pivotal word: lies. While it could be argued that McCorkle ruins the joke on the first time through, she drives the point home throughout the recording. And on each of the three times that the extension appears, she finds a new way to twist that pivotal word. Also, listen to how she moves from sweet innocent to gritty cynic as the performance progresses, adding a rare “dirty” sound to her voice. Susannah’s suicide in 2001 was devastating to anyone who loved good songs, old or new, and while her sometimes difficult nature and battles with mental illness have been thoroughly documented (most notably in Linda Dahl’s book, Haunted Heart), the loss of this fine vocalist is still being felt nearly a decade later.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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