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Regifted Light

Baby Dee

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Album Review

Falling somewhere between Antony & the Johnsons and Thomas Tallis, Regifted Light retreats from the genre-hopping, Baroque pop of 2008’s Safe Inside the Day, employing a pastoral, almost hymnal demeanor that trades out the bawdy, brothel jams for more classically minded fare. Titles such as “Coughing Up Cat Hair,” “Brother Slug and Sister Snail,” and “Cowboys with Cowboy Hat Hair” may suggest otherwise, but Baby Dee sounds more settled here than she has in the past, perhaps due in part to the gorgeous Steinway D delivered to her home by producer/collaborator Andrew W.K., who lent the Cleveland crooner the Concert Grand after deciding that she was “one of the only people I met who could really appreciate it as an instrument and use it for all it's worth." Utilizing a pit band that includes percussion, melodica, pump organ, bassoon, cello, glockenspiel, tuba, and sousaphone, Regifted Light is largely instrumental, allowing listeners the pleasure of hearing Dee's artfully constructed melodies and arrangements, as well as her truly impressive ivory work, without the arguable distraction of her divisive, thespian-bred voice. When she does include vocals, like on the stellar title cut and the sentimental “On the Day I Died,” it sounds like the last night of a lost weekend in Tudor England, conjuring up images of weary but content courtesans, off-work servants, and assorted gentry watching the sunrise from the basement window of a D.I.Y., early music house show.

Biography

Born: 1953 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Performance artist, songwriter, classically trained harpist, circus sideshow veteran, and transgender street legend Baby Dee was born in 1953 in Cleveland, OH. She spent ten years as music director and organist for a Catholic church in the Bronx before joining the circus as the bilateral hermaphrodite at Coney Island. This landed her a gig as the bandleader for performance art group the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and a tour with the Kamikaze Freak Show in Europe. After moving back to New York City,...
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Regifted Light, Baby Dee
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