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Laura Crema breathes new life in jazz and country standards on new album
(Published: September 18, 2016)

The plaintive ache of singer/songwriter Laura Crema seems to have been born to sing relentless heartbreak of Hank Williams, Sr.'s country classic, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." Crema sings the words with the crestfallen croon of a wounded angel. It's a ballad of profound resignation, and when Crema laments, "I've never seen a night so long/When time goes crawling by/The moon just went behind the clouds/To hide its face and cry," the dark poetry of the lyrics is brought to the surface with soul-crushing intensity.

There are cover albums that feature faint echoes of the past but there are exceptional ones that deliver an individual take which breathes new air. Crema's new album, Blue Shadows on the Trail, is a welcome addition to the latter category. Crema revisits country, folk, blues, and jazz standards with a respectful heart but an indie sensibility. Her renditions don't sound old even though the instruments - including steel, dobro, banjo, and fiddle - are as vintage as it gets.

For the most part, it is Crema's voice that truly commands the attention. On Brenda Lee's "Break It To Me Gently," Crema's sorrowful singing captures the song's burned emotions. There is real soul and sadness in her vocals.

Among the highlights on Blue Shadows is yet another Williams tune, "Ramblin' Man." Crema tears into it with bluesy gusto before it ends with a ghostly fade. This is a haunting, compelling collection.

More Information: http://www.lauracrema.com

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