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Live At Blues Alley

Eva Cassidy

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Album Review

The late Eva Cassidy gained a loyal following in the Washington, D.C., area through appearances in small clubs, utilizing her pitch-perfect singing voice to interpret a variety of tunes ranging from standards to modern-era pop songs. A notoriously shy performer, Eva Cassidy had a somewhat stiff stage presence, but she endeared herself to her audiences by performing songs she obviously loved, combining elements of soul, gospel, blues, and jazz. Live at Blues Alley is an excellent showcase for her vocal talents and her ability to make even the most familiar tune uniquely her own. Admittedly, the titles on Live at Blues Alley seem like a set list for a bad Vegas lounge act; songs such as Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek" and Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" have been done to death for decades. Fortunately, Eva Cassidy had an obvious affection for these standards. She sounds as if she had a ball performing the Irving Berlin number, while her subtle reading of the Louis Armstrong tune is nothing less than extraordinary. She was equally successful with more contemporary pop classics like "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Take Me to the River." Ultimately, the slower songs are the most stirring, particularly her rendition of "Fields of Gold." Her tear-jerking version of the Sting tune could very well be one of the greatest cover songs ever recorded. Eva Cassidy's popularity slowly began to spread outside of the D.C. area upon the release of this album in early 1996. Unfortunately, Eva Cassidy passed away later that year, just as she began laying the groundwork for what could have been a stellar career in music. However, her posthumous success has been astonishing, with worldwide critical acclaim and extensive exposure on British television that helped her album Songbird climb to number one on the British album chart in March, 2001. Live at Blues Alley was the only solo album released during Eva Cassidy's lifetime (an album recorded with Chuck Brown, The Other Side, was also released), and it's an excellent introduction to a performer who never lived to witness the impact her voice made on her fans all over the world.

Customer Reviews

Simply Irresistible

I have worked in the music business most of my adult life. Starting at age 5 playing piano and growing to be a part of the management of several major talents. I easily declare that Eva Cassidy had one of the finest voices I have ever heard. Together with her unique and artistic interpretations, she is a true American Treasure. Gone much to soon, but thanks to recordings, she will live on in our ears and our hearts. Fields of Gold, a wonderful song, is truly elevated to a new height by her magic and artistry. If you know anyone who loves music, join the Eva Cassidy bandwagon (there's room for everyone) and turn them on to this magnificent talent.

J'Mo

This is a must have!!!! Turn down the lights and turn it up. Eva at her best. Miss you Eva

Live at Blues Alley

A must own sound, if you can't feel it words can't explain it!

Biography

Born: February 2, 1963 in Oxon Hill, MD

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s

The heart-tugging story of Eva Cassidy reads almost like the plot of a "Movie of the Week" tearjerker. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, the painfully shy Cassidy earned a local reputation as a masterful interpreter of standards from virtually any genre, blessed with technical agility and a searching passion that cut straight to the emotional core of her material. Despite the evocative instrument that was Cassidy's voice, record companies shied away from her, unsure of how to market her eclectic...
Full Bio