Album: Silver Lining
Label: Spooky Moon
In a just world, Webb's name would be spoken alongside such greats as Mitchell, King, Ian and Nyro, her music evoking the timeless soulful classic sound of 70s Laurel Canyon and New York lofts. This is her sixth album and one couched in laid back, early hours tones tinged with shades of folk, jazz and blues, getting underway with the dreamy piano ballad 'This Is Love', her voice flowing through the lyrics like honey, faint echoes of Wedding Bell Blues ringing in the distance. She brings a Latin sway, Spanish guitar and Ian colours to 'Old Blue Panama', a co-write with poet and spiritual teacher Charles John Quatro, its rhythm and melody reflecting the relaxed, at one with the cosmos vibe to such lyrics as "The way an oyster gathers pearls/And the wind taught me to listen/So I'm a willing grinning victim/In the lunar system".
“Wendy Webb is an otherworldly talent, her writer's gift for lyricism as rare as the beauty she and her music possess.” - Peter Matthiessen, Author, co-founder of The Paris Review, he is the only writer to have won the National Book Award in both fiction and nonfiction.
The tempo ups slightly for another dip into romantic waters with 'Love Is Gonna Treat You Right' ("All the clouds are gone from my eyes/Now that we belong it's no surprise/That I'm gonna love you all my life…We're gonna have a house by the bay/And we can be alone every day") before easing into a contemplative piano-accompanied cover of the Lerner/Loewe evergreen 'I've Grown Accustomed To Your Face' from My Fair Lady, her vocals not so much singing as caressing the lyrics.
A roll of cymbals introduces the electric piano backed 'Jasmine Nights', enfolded in the sort of country soul fragrances Bonnie Raitt brought to her cover of 'I'm Blowin' Away' that do indeed make you want to go out 'Dancin' in the moonlight' as she softly reflects on "words that I've said/Those broken ties and scattered lives and I can't forget", the reference to jasmine not the only thing that calls Seals & Croft's 'Summer Breeze' to mind.
Leaning on the deeper piano notes, 'Timeless Love' is a late night jazzy gospel blues that you could hear Billie Holiday singing, the Latin textures returning as undercurrents on 'I've Never Been To Argentina', which offsets the limits of her globetrotting with having deeply explored the continent of love.
John McLane's horns burnish the lazing 'Rhythm Of Your Love' which imagines what vintage Van Morrison might sound like filtered through a Janis or early Joni lens before Cowboy Eddie Long sits on dobro for the slow walking country gospel 'Blue Skies On The Way', her voice riding the vocal range as she sings how "my heartaches have all been replaced/By the sweet words you said today" and that "many lessons I have learned/But it's love that's always come first".
Backed by electric piano, 'Children on the Blue' was written for her father about growing up "With eyes that open wide/In the stories that you told/In the memories that you hold", of leaving the nest ("So I sailed off on my own/Far away from home") and of the legacy she carries with her ("So now your path we would borrow/Set on a course for tomorrow/This part of me is a part of you").
Driven by McLane's drum and again with punching horns, it ends with the uptempo, rhythmically rolling along title track which, as it suggests, is all about looking on the bright side and seeing opportunities whenever "the road got strange" with "every new turn a tale unknown" and for "All the games that people play" to "keep remembering/Every bit of luck that came my way". She does indeed look at clouds from both sides now.
One for perhaps a more seasoned listening audience, but if your collection includes any or all of New York Tenderberry, Blue, Tapestry or Aftertones, then this really should be filed alongside them.
Mike Davies - FATEA RECORDS - UK
Wendy Webb - Silver Lining
I love this album for its overall beauty and especially for its skillful music. Yes, if I were to define what is Blaskan's Friends Music, it would without a doubt be Wendy Webb.
Because if we were to experience an artist who was just as strong in singing as Carole King, Karla Bonoff, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins or Laura Nyro, it would be Wendy Webb. The music here is dazzlingly beautiful, smooth, fluid and shimmering as pleasant in the spirit as well as in the musical soul.
The songs are lyrical little poetic stories like a record emerged from a tragic storm/hurricane that hit the place where Wendy Webb was. The record is therefore so much more than just a collection of songs to listen to.
Rather a work of art painted on the basis of sadness, pain and yet human warming hope. A spark of light in a compact darkness.
Take and listen to the song that I can really name for this autumn's real Blaskans Friend Song - "Children On The Blue" which is a smooth beautiful ballad of silk and beauty in a realistic musical watercolor painting.
- Micheles Kindh - Blaskan's Friends Music - SWEDEN
Wendy Webb - Silver Lining - Excerpt
today’s Gem! MUSIC THAT GIVES COMFORT!
The music on this new record sounds just right anyway, slightly jazzy rhythms, sort of like a cross between Joni Mitchell meets Steely Dan and meets Carly Simon on the road - and what's more, the listener is served a voice that, simply described, has that little something extra.
I immediately melt in the opening "This is love" and it continues just as strongly in "Gonna treat you right", both of which are songs that are better than much else right now. Yes, it doesn't get any worse in "Jasmine nights" for that matter...above all, the focus falls on Wendy Webb's beautiful voice and her well-balanced lyrics.
Torbjörn Berlin - BERLIN CALLING - GERMANY
Wendy Webb - Silver Lining - Excerpt
...It is the fifties classic from "My Fair Lady" that redeems the album to finally land in a musical experience that is hard when impossible to stop listening to.
In addition to being a brilliant songwriter, the majority of the material is her own, Wendy Webb is a sensitive pianist who carefully weaves text and melodies together with her piano playing into something greater than its individual parts.
On "Blue Skies On the Way" Cowboy Eddie Long contributes an otherworldly beautiful dobro playing. Kudos also to the album's producer Danny Morgan, who with his bongo playing brightens the Latin American-inspired "I've Never Been to Argentina". John McLane's saxophone solo in "The Rhythm of Your Love" also deserves to be highlighted. The album's strongest song is the otherwise fragile "Jasmine Nights", where Wendy Webb gently shows us what a full-fledged songwriter she is.
If you want to put a label on Wendy Webb's music, a combination of folk, pop and jazz can work. Personally, I choose sophisticated and sensual. Long time since I could put such labels. One of the best albums of the year.
By Lars Svensson - SWEDEN
Lonesome Highway review by Paul McGee - Ireland - Jan 15, 2024
Spooky Moon Records
Eleven songs and forty-plus minutes of superbly crafted music from an artist who has been releasing consistently strong music since 2003. Wendy grew up in Iowa where she learned piano and guitar before moving to Los Angeles, and later Nashville, in building her career and getting comfortable with her inner muse. Her debut, MORNING IN NEW YORK was followed by MOON ON HAVANA (2009) and EDGE OF TOWN (2011). Further releases THIS IS THE MOMENT (2015) and STEP OUT OF LINE (2017) enhanced her international reputation and led to greater awareness of her growing influence.
Now based on the island of Sanibel in Florida, Wendy lives a creative life surrounded by what inspires her and the results are evident on this beautifully realised album. Co-production by John McLane and Danny Morgan is superb and both also join Wendy as musicians. She recorded her vocals and piano parts in a live setting while McLane provided strings, horns, drums, bass, organ, accordion, electric and nylon string guitars. Morgan added his talents on bongos, acoustic guitar and percussion, with a guest appearance from Cowboy Eddie Long who played dobro on one track.
Wendy delivers heartfelt, soulful vocals on songs like Timeless Love and Rhythm Of Your Love while the Bossa nova groove of songs like Old Blue Panama and I’ve Never Been To Argentina add great colour to the texture of the album. The laid-back delivery on the seductive Jasmine Nights is a joy and the positive message of Blue Skies On the Way is a balm to the soul in these troubled times with a strong message that only love can provide enduring hope and joy in the world, something that is also echoed in the title track, providing an upbeat reminder that ‘Love goes on and on, ever shining.’
A song in tribute to her father Children On the Blue is wrapped in a slow tempo and a sweetly soft melody reflecting on the strength of family ties across the miles and the passage of time. Wendy’s vocal tone is beautifully warm and nuanced in delivery, at one turn echoing the resonance of Carole King and at another reflecting the joy of Norah Jones in full flight. Her talent is of course all her own and the strong musicality running through these songs is something to treasure on repeated plays. Another example of the great talent and seasoned musicality of this fine artist, Silver Lining comes highly recommended, as is the entire back catalogue of Wendy Webb.
Review by Paul McGee - Ireland
Review by Wolfgang Geise - Germany
The American singer/songwriter Wendy Webb from Iowa has completely convinced me with her last two releases, once in 2015 with This Is The Moment and then two years later with Step Out Of Line.
Now the lady has followed up with another album full of mature and sensitive music with her album Silver Lining. I'll say it in advance - once again a first-class work has been created; after the first songs, Wendy Webb captivated me. Yes, and I can't let go of it over the course of the eleven songs. Except for tracks 2 (lyrics - Charles John Quarto, music by Wendy Webb), 4 (lyrics Alan J. Lerner, music Frederick Loewe), 11 & 12 (Mark Keller, Wendy Webb), all the rest come from the artist herself "Children Of The Blue" is the song that she composed as her first, here again in a refreshed version.
Yes, and again she managed to combine music in a mixed environment of folk and pop styles, with a touch of jazz and soft rock and a little Latin ("Old Blue Panama") to create this typical singer/songwriter style cultivated sophistication in expression. Again, I have no choice but to mention Wendy Webb in the same breath as Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell. And so Silver Lining is exactly what I had already noticed about its predecessors, namely music with wonderful melodies and a lot of harmony in expression, music that literally stands next to you and pleasantly touches, especially your soul, whether melancholic, happy or other moods are triggered.
Wolfgang Geise - Musik an Sich - GERMANY
Rating - 19
Step Out Of Line
*****(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’
"…This is Premier Division song writing. Add to that a glorious voice and faultless production-values, this has all the hallmarks of a winner indelibly etched into it, from the get-go". ...That voice, shivers down the spine time on every track."
One of the best female voices I have laid ears on in a very long time. Her mahoosively gorgeous album 'Step Out Of Line'... this really is an album that needs to be heard by many. When you hear it, you can thank me later…
-Simon Redley - MUSIC REPUBLIC MAGAZINE - UK 3-11-2017
"Wendy Webb pushes her way into the first group of international musicians in the field of singer / songwriter. Every single song is a gem in itself.." This is music in the best tradition of the seventies, as it was once created by Carole King or Joni Mitchell. For me, Wendy Webb clearly belongs to this group of female songwriters, because the level is very high.
RATING 19 (of 20)
Wolfgang Giese - GERMANY - Musik An Sich - Jan. 2017
"Step Out Of Line is one of the best Americana albums of recent times ....a must". "Special attention to the title track with a brilliant trumpet solo by Wayne Jackson, as well as the sublime song 'Freedom'."
-Fred Pach - BENELUX - Muziekwereld - Jan. 2017
RATING 9.5 (of 10)
"Imagine the intersections of Carole King, Bonnie Raitt and Laura Nyro ...special magic.
-Wolfgang Reitzammer - GERMANY - Hoer.Test - Cooltourist Jan. 2017
This Is The Moment
“Platinum plated singer-songwriter AOR of the highest order, ...."
- Mike Davies FATEA - RECORDS UK
"Wendy Webb is an excellent singer and an equally excellent pianist. That leads to very beautiful ballad work. that at moments to Carole King reminds as the title song unequivocally illustrates....."
4 stars (of 5) —— Review under POP
Written In Music ( journalist - Cis Van Looy) - Netherlands - Translation
"Wendy Webb delivers a lovely 4th album....beautiful voice and songs that take you back to the innocence of the 1970s when this kind of music was very common on the radio...the album feels very natural from start to finish... high quality release."
STRUTTER MAGAZINE ...Melody Central
Holland January 2016
written by Gabor Kleinbloesem, Editor of Strutter
" This lady made a album of absolute world class. An absolute must."
- Holly Moors - Moors Magazine -Netherlands
"This is a fine record and the mark of a gifted, mature and talented artist. "
... high-class repertoire, sung with extreme grace and poetry, evocative and heartfelt."
- Remo Ricaldone - ITALY
More Reviews and Quotes from Previous Albums - USA
Morning In New York
“The songs are heart sprung, tender and tough, fragile and enduring. Some are jazzy, sung with sass and echoes of Carole KIng and Ricky Lee Jones. Others are moody, full of wee hours wisdom, or yearning and soul stirring, soaring toward heights flown by the likes of Joni Mitchell and Emmy Lou Harris. Webb is a newcomer whose music is mined in the timeless chambers of the human heart.” - Steven Dougherty, senior writer, People Magazine
“ The angelic range and hard-grit soul of Wendy Webb’s voice rivals that of Emmy Lou Harris. Who would have thought that in our lifetime there would be another with a talent so pure. - Lorian Hemingway, author of “Walk On Water”
“Laura Nyro lives! I mean that as the highest compliment. What a pleasure to listen to Wendy Webb play her piano and sing her breathtaking songs. I could go on for hours talking about her complex lyrics, but it is the sound of her voice that I find so haunting, the achingly beautiful voice of real experience. This seems to me real heartfelt music -- an endangered species in today’s lets-make-a-quick-buck popular culture -- from a woman who has lived a full life asking those adult questions of herself and of the people she loves, not at high noon when it is always easy to put a smiley face on matters, but long after midnight when the shadows remain hidden. I’m bowled over by Wendy Webb. - Jeff Klinkenberg, columnist for St. Petersburg Times
“Wendy Webb’s precise vocal nuances breathe life and meaning into her new CD Morning In New York with such winners as “Shadows and the Fire,” an intricate sojourn into the ultimate contrasts of darkness and flame. Her songwriting prowess leads to disarmingly intimate confessions such as “You were chasing my disguise/Such a tattered naked lie."
Wendy’s her own woman with her own way of bending the notes and twisting the words into lyrics that plummet deep into the epicenter of those who love or at least try to love. Her messages wander from musical to mystical, from juiced to jaded, as her creative honesty lures the listener simultaneously into both her heart and her hurt. “Fantasia Extreme,” for example, shimmers with this revelation: “This time it really brought me down/and I ain’t never flown this close to the ground.”
“In the title cut, Webb dissects the dual entities of the Big Apple and the relationships that are the core of her life, examines them with forensic fervor, and reconstructs the city and herself in the process.”
These musical portraits stretch the canvas of life with vignettes that range from dark images that would do a latter day Van Gogh proud to gentle Andrew Wyeth style landscapes that color “Paradise Street.”
“This is not only survival of the fittest, it’s survival of the finest – warts, worries and wonders jumbled in a mixed bag of despair, hope, laughter and tears. The beautiful chanteuse renders it all with the rare ability to alter viewpoints and change perceptions within the limited real time of a CD.”
“Bolstered by a style that vacillates from down-home funk to uptown opera, Wendy Webb displays a special talent that deserves to be discovered and cherished.” - Gerry Wood, former Editor-in-Chief, Billboard, New York City and author of “Tales From Country Music”
"Wendy Webb's evocative voice and resonant lyrics, sung over deceptively complex compositions, are nothing less than haunting." -Tim Cahill is Founding Editor, Outside Magazine, Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone
Moon On Havana
"Wendy Webb's Moon on Havana is intelligent, complicated and above all musical. Webb sings with such emotional investment--jubilant, rueful, whatever she needs--that the listener has that rarest experience: of being swept away." - Tom McGuane, Author, recipient of the Wallace Stegner Award, and member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
"I was spellbound when I heard Wendy Webb put life's emotions into song. Like Loreena McKennitt, her voice is a beautifully played instrument of original music that comes from the heart. Listeners will swear she wrote them just for them." - Robert N. Macomber, award-winning Florida novelist
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