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„Time after Time“ review
Le Cri du Coyote – Nov / Dec 2009
Pour LiLLY OF THE WEST vous excuserez le retard car Time After Time (disponible chez www.cdbaby.com) date de 2007 et le groupe est en train d’enregistrer l’album suivant, son septième depuis 1996. Le style de Lilly Of The West a des points en commun avec celui d’Alison Krauss & Union Station : des arrangements très travaillés, une contrebassiste (Svoboda Bozdugenova) qui privilégie la qualité du son plutôt que le nombre de notes, un altiste (Vladimir Michailov) plutôt qu’un fiddler (Alison Krauss utilise fréquemment l’alto), un guitariste (Yassen Vassilev) et un mandoliniste (l’Américain Jesse Brock qui a joué entre autres avec Lynn Morris et Chris Jones) qui tricotent des arpèges en dentelle. Ils sont tous excellents. L’atout majeur du groupe reste cependant la voix de Lilly Drumeva. Il y a souvent confusion entre le groupe et sa chanteuse, confusion entretenue par le fait qu’elle apparaît seule sur les pochettes de CD. Lilly a un timbre d’une étonnante pureté et d’une grande douceur. Dans la nébuleuse bluegrass/ country acoustique, je ne vois personne en Europe qui tienne la comparaison avec elle dans ce domaine. Par contre, ce n’est pas une chanteuse tout terrain. Sur la fin de Summerfly, ceux qui connaissent la version de Maura O’Connell trouveront que Lilly manque de puissance. Même constat pour la puissance mais aussi la tessiture aiguë pour Time After Time de Cindy Lauper. Par contre sa version de Once In A Very Blue Moon surclasse celles de Nanci Griffith et Mary Black. La ballade folk End Of The World lui va comme un gant. Elle vous met dans sa poche avec deux notes bleues au milieu d’une autre ballade, Rough Ride. J’ai même apprécié The Water Is Wide, slow song pourtant trop entendu mais qui a inspiré les musiciens du groupe. Les chansons qui conviennent à Lilly Drumeva peuvent aussi être plus rythmées comme le vif A Walk In The Irish Rain ou Canada Geese avec batterie et dobro. En plus d’être un formidable mandoliniste, Jesse Brock est un bon chanteur et le duo avec Lilly sur le classique All I Have To Do Is Dream est également très réussi. Promis ! le prochain Lilly Of The West, on vous en parle dès sa sortie.
Dominique FOSSE (in Le Cri du Coyote n° 113 Nov-Dec 2009)
Author: Alan Cackett
Date: January 2008 Issue
Band: Lilly of the West
Album: Time After Time
„Delicate Bluegrass-flavored acoustic music that is highly recommended.“
A mainstay of European bluegrass music for more than a dozen years, Bulgaria’s Lilly Drumeva seam’s to improve with time. Recorded in Sofia, for this latest album Lilly has chosen her material wisely, blending traditional songs, pop nuggets and folk tunes. What makes it all work so well is the freshness she brings to songs that frankly, over the years; I’ve probably heard a good too many times. This is particularly true of Cyndi Lauper’s title song, which is given a delicate acoustic makeover. She takes Nancy Griffith’s once in a very blue moon and makes it her own and even manages to add a new emotion to John Denver’s leaving on a jet plan. Lilly’s voice really shines as she sings with confidence and emotion on Cheryl Wheeler’s summer fly.
Though Lilly’s distinctive and sensitive vocals are the focal point of the album, she has also assembled some very good acoustic musicians to assist. The core band is Lilly on vocals and acoustic guitar, Yassen Vassilev (guitar), Vladimir Michailov (viola), Svoboda Bozduganova (upright bass) and Jesse Brock (mandolin, vocals) with guest players Rayko Pepelanov (guitar), Rossen Hristov (Dobro), Michail Shishkov (upright bass), Tsvetan Vlaykov (electric bass) and Pavlin Malinov (drums) adding to the mix. It is real refreshing to hear some traditional based music that has a contemporary feel to it. A delightful album, that should bring the discerning listener endless hours of listening pleasure.
„The Bluegrass BAND“
„Time After Time“, the latest CD from Lilly Of The West, was actually released several months ago, but we had waited for it to become widely available outside of Europe before posting about it on The Bluegrass BAND. Lilly is Lilly Drumeva, the Bulgarian singer and guitarist who not only fronts the band, but also hosts country and bluegrass music programming on Bulgarian TV and radio, and serves on the board of the European Bluegrass Music Association.
On this project, her approach is a bit different than in the past, with respect to both the material and the musicians. The songs are drawn from the repertoire of pop and folk classics, but the arrangements, and Lilly’s distinctively understated delivery, clearly distinguish these versions from the familiar original – and many subsequent – recordings.
The title track was a major pop hit for Cindy Lauper, with other selections like Leaving On A Jet Plane, Just Once in A Very Blue Moon, The End Of The World and All I Have To Do Is Dream having also been radio hits over roughly a fifty year span. Folk favorites The Water Is Wide and A Walk In The Irish Rain are also included, along with one traditional Bulgarian folk song, Oblache Le Bialo.
Instead of putting together a band from among Europe’s top bluegrass players, Drumeva picked prominent classical musicians and gave them a crash course in the ways of acoustic/bluegrass string music. American grasser Jesse Brock, who spent much of 2006 in Europe, plays mandolin, with Drumeva on guitar, Svoboda Bozduganova on bass, Yassen Vassilev on nylon string guitar, and in another departure from the norm, Vladimir Michailov on viola.
The arrangements have a subtle, almost restrained feel throughout; you might even describe it as parlor string music. With no banjo, the music is less aggressive than more traditional bluegrass-influenced music, but the impact of where Mr. Monroe’s music has gone this past 60 years is clear.
You can hear audio samples from all but one of the CD’s 11 tracks on CD Baby, where you can also purchase the album as either digital downloads or an audio CD.
„Time After Time“ featuring Jesse Brock
2009 INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS MUSIC AWARDS
Mandolin Player of the year.
I first became aware of Lilly Drumeva as the lead singer for the band Lilly of the West when I reviewed her album Sail On the Wild, Wild Wind for Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. The exciting thing about her then, as now, was her extraordinary voice and the freshness of her approach in choosing songs – songs that too many times have become clichés to those of us listening in the USA. Without the cultural constraints that might prevent them from looking beyond the bounds of traditional sources of bluegrass and folk music, Lilly Drumeva and her band choose material from many sources, skillfully arranging and interpreting them in a way that is at once familiar and new and, at the same time, reflecting their Eastern European influences and upbringing.
Those of us fortunate enough to have seen or heard Lilly’s music have discovered a pure singer with a serious grounding in traditional American music and an unmatched and appealing creativity that results in a fabulously satisfying listening experience. Her music continues to mature as time goes on, and this collection mines her imagination and influences in a way that makes us looking forward to hearing even more.
Reviewer and writer, Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine, January 2007