Album Review: Lo Carmen & Peter Head
Somethingyousaid.com’s Jack Colwell gives a listen to the new longplayer by father/daughter duo Peter Head and Lo Carmen:
In recent years there’s been a great return to ‘duet’ CDs, focused on capturing the spirit and energy of what made the songs of a bygone era so unforgettable. I am not ashamed in admitting I personally have a ‘Tony Bennett with K.D Lang’ record in my collection, though, I am more ashamed to admit to the ‘Rod Stewert duets with Cher’.
There is a certain kind of magic wrapped up in songs of old. Where the lyrics are bold, true, and a type of nostalgia has already coated the lyrics thick with meaning and memory; these familiar melodies caress you in their arms and hold you in the night, dazzling by-gone memories and lustful wants.
It is these old fantastic songs though, that have kicked around for years (and will continue to do so), that Lo Carmen, and her father, iconic Australian jazz pianist Peter Head have decided to record, finally, after playing and performing together for so many years; it is hard to believe that after such a long time it is only now they have produced a record together.
You can tell in the way Carmen and Head harmonize together on this album, entitled ‘The Apple Don’t Fall Far From The Tree’, that they are still both musicians well in their prime; their sighs in the melody ache together, their arrangements considered and adding their own special brand, the crying Nashville guitar hits the emotion home. It’s the fragility in Lo’s voice though that keeps me coming back.
A fan of her solo material, it’s fascinating to hear how she transforms and makes these songs her own. The overhang from Lo’s previous efforts, ‘The Peach State’ is a nice addition.
There isn’t a song on this record that isn’t about love, and more importantly how love affects us in a myriad of ways. Lo and her Father share a deep passion for music, and creating music in the traditional sense, (none of this ‘laptop’ business).
Love is celebrated in ‘Makin Whoopee’, pained on ‘Love Hurts’, and on its knees in desperation in Tom Waits’ classic ‘Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis’; a stand out from his stellar album, ‘Blue Valentine’. The way the piano rolls and broods through this moody number is astounding, striding at a top-notch rate.
‘The Apple Don’t Fall Far From The Tree’ is the somber tunes of a late night piano bar, a whiskey straight-up and a phone call that’s never going to come that you can’t ignore.