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Music Notes for October 22, 2009

Review…

Nancy Cook

Focus

(no label listed)

www.picklehead.com

Jill Whitmore

Metamorphosis

(no label listed)

www.jillwhitmore.com

By Mary-Ann Brandon

LA VETA- Just a gal and her guitar in front of a bunch of complete strangers… gutsy.

    That is exactly what we got last weekend when Nancy Cook performed in La Veta as the entertainment for a fundraiser to benefit the SPACE Gallery renovation.  Afterwards I was passed a copy of her most recent CD entitled “Focus”.  

    Cook has a command of an acoustic guitar.  She is a strong finger-picker, has excellent ears (she utilized several different tunings, always managing to keep all six strings in tune with each other) and engages her audience with an approachable style by telling stories about her life experiences.  These stories are woven throughout her music.  She is light and open and shares tales of her decades touring around the country playing music.

    Her life experiences have taken her from her childhood in Gainsville Florida, to Boulder Colorado, a brief stint in Nashville, TN in the mid 80’s and finally to Frisco, Colorado.  She splits her time between Colorado and South Padre Island, Texas, where she enjoys a following and can pursue her passion for windsurfing.  Her CD is well produced,  guitar driven, folk music with a very easy listening quality.  She has managed to create a following in the ski areas of Northern Colorado.  If your taste runs towards female folk singer/songwriters who play guitar, this gal may be right up your alley.  Look for her to return to La Veta in the future. 

    Jill Whitmore is a Huerfano County transplant who would likely be classified in the broad pop category.  She handles the piano and voice duties on her CD with a strong 1970’s folk/pop sensibility.  Listening to her music I found myself drawing comparisons to Karla Bonoff, Carol King and Linda Ronstadt. 

    Whitmore is open about being a breast cancer survivor and this CD seems to reflect the strong emotional changes that this event caused to happen in her life.  Included are photos of her, both, with and without much hair, offering a strong image of hope for other women who have to face this huge challenge.  Her lyric writing has no trace of self pity, rather deep reflection and a fair amount of hopefulness.   With the exception of the classic Eddie Arnold song, “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye”, Whitmore wrote or co-wrote all the songs on Metamorphosis.  Playing acoustic guitar on part of the record and sharing some co-production duties is Kenny Edwards who was a founding member of the Stone Poneys (he also worked with Karla Bonoff).  It’s a perfect  collaboration as the L.A. folk/pop sound that is associated with Edwards work is clearly the sound that Jill Whitmore is reaching for.  She hits the mark with a strong voice, good songwriting and a well produced recording. 

    News has it that Whitmore has a new recording project in the works.  Keep your eyes and ears open for performances around the area in the future. 

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