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Heather Maloney (from the album No Shortcuts - Live at the Academy
Heather Maloney (from the album No Shortcuts - Live at the Academy available on Signature Sons) (by Lee Zimmerman)
With a ten-year career, five albums, and a pair of EPs flush with inspired Americana, Heather Maloney has achieved a hallowed reputation as a well-heeled singer and songwriter. Her music conveys an exuberance and enthusiasm that some have likened to Joni Mitchell, in particular, making it little surprise that her remake of “Woodstock” with the band Darlingside on the 2014 EP of the same name was so well received.
Like Mitchell, Maloney exudes a decided joy when it comes to sharing her songs, a good-natured attitude that intrinsically ties her to folk tradition. That’s especially evident on No Shortcuts, a live recording spawned by a performance at The Academy in Northampton Massachusetts. In a sense, this 16-song set provides an ideal summation of Maloney’s career up to this point, with offerings such as “Dirt & Stardust”, “Albert 1-5”, “Be Satisfied”, “All in Your Name”, the title track, and yes, her remake of “Woodstock” plied with the earnest intents that have inspired her since early on. Backed by a string quartet, guitarist, and stand-up bassist — the latter two doubling on backing vocals — the music takes on a spectral sensibility that illuminates each entry while also enhancing the vibrance and variety of the music itself.
Happily, though, accoutrement aside, Heather Maloney isn’t one to take herself too seriously. Certain songs — “Enigma” and “Wild as a Birdsong” in particular — start the proceedings with a light-hearted lilt that betrays a clear fondness for her craft and a decided joy in its delivery. One can only imagine the embrace transmitted from artist to audience within this special setting.
Heather Maloney’s performance here finds both attitude and engagement interwoven in tandem. Her music is consistently affecting while eschewing any posturing or pretense, even when relayed from the personal perspective of songs like “Let Me Stay”, “Oh, Hope, My Tired Friend”, and “Nightstand Drawer”. As a result, both newcomers and devotees will find themselves effectively charmed and impressed. (By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Heather Maloney from AMAZON
For more information and purchase options, please visit Heather Maloney website
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