Thursday, February 24, 2011
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: MAE MOORE - FOLKLORE
Mae Moore, where ya been? Ten years is a long time between discs, especially for somebody with lots of chart hits, Juno nominations and even a cut on the Top Gun soundtrack. It seems Mae's been enjoying a quiet life as a landscape painter, and organic farmer in B.C.'s Gulf Islands. A committed environmentalist, she's taken the back-to-the-land job very seriously, but recently became ready to re-enter the music scene.
While her way with melodies, and mellow voice gave her access to the pop market in the '90's, in truth she started as a folkie and returns comfortably to that larger genre title. Of course, that doesn't mean the music is any less accessable, and Moore's jazzier arrangements only help make her approachable from any number of vantage points. Horns and strings are gently used on several cuts, and even a good old Joni Mitchell dulcimer. The Mitchell comparisons are plenty actually, from the painting to the soprano sax, to the folk-meets-jazz, even the vocal range, and it must be mentioned, because you're going to think it anyway. But that does a disservice to the quality of material, the great vibe, and the satisfaction of hearing this style done so well.
Moore is operating from the landscape painter's perspective, with the natural world featuring prominantly across the disc. When Constellations Align is a song of a lover's devotion under The Milky Way, the heavens the only thing big enough to dwarf two hearts. Having lived on both coasts, Moore bravely and successfully tackles that ultimate naturalist writers' topic on Oh, Canada. Where many have tried and come up with trite results, Moore succeeds with lines such as "In a landscape so wild/I am beguiled/With all the beauty that I see".
Mae Moore is taking the Via Train across Canada in March, stopping off at clubs from Victoria to P.E.I. to launch the Folklore album. For those with a desire to see her paintings, some are included in the liner notes, plus there's a companion coffee table book with 19 of her works, and a download for the album.