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Album Review

Marrying the ideas of eating and music, One Meat Ball is a collection of 19 songs about, well, food. Being that this record was commissioned by Christine Lavin, the music on it generally stays within the folk-country realm, which fits well with the somewhat offbeat nature of many of the songs. Many of the tracks take a humorous tone, including Megon McDonough's (two other members of Lavin's 4 Bitchin' Babes, Sally Fingerett and Debi Smith, also have songs on the album) "Butter," Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer's "Orange Cocoa Cake," Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich's "Taylor the Latte Boy," and Mary Liz McNamara's slightly irreverent "Bacon" ("fried heaven in a pan.../I'd kill the porker with my own bare hands just to get a strip"), but many of them also do what food helps us do best: reminisce. "Blueberry Pancakes" tells the story of big family breakfasts on Sunday mornings, "Blackberry Winter" is about lost love, and "Ten Pound Bass" recalls a particularly special summer. Equally important to One Meat Ball is the booklet with which it comes, which is a collection of recipes from the artists themselves, most of them relating directly to the track with which they are paired (actor Jeff Daniels' recipe for tomato pudding and his song "Tomato Puddin'," and Lavin's own "French Toast Bread Pudding" with its accompanying recipe, as well as "voice mail" messages left by various people — her landlord, various friends, her snooty upstairs neighbor — wanting to share it with her). Yeah, it's a little corny, but the musicians are all top-rate (there are the aforementioned artists, and Tom Paxton and Pete Seeger both have tracks included), and actually, the food that they're talking about sounds pretty good, too, which could just be One Meat Ball's greatest selling point.

Top Albums and Songs by Christine Lavin & Friends

One Meat Ball, Christine Lavin & Friends
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