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Karen Savoca
ALL MY EXCUSES (Alcove) • Karen Savoca

This woman moved right to the top of the list of my favorite singers in a heartbeat. The sound that she's making is so sexy, so spiritual, and so womanly that it just knocked me right out. It's the sound of the ages, not the sound of the X or the Next Generation, it's the lineage of womankind.

Hyperbole? No, not really. Check out the clips on the Listen page, you'll hear exactly what I'm talking about. But not yet. Let me tell you about it. Karen Savoca and stringmaster Pete Heitzman have been together over 20 years, and they do a duo act all over the world that is fearlessly them, and it's called Folk, for lack of better words. But it's also funky, it's lush, it's bluesy, it's a lot of good things. It's deep, it's real, and it's super good. I needed it real bad today, I've heard too many records that were shallow or contrived this week.

Famous peers have recognized their greatness. T-Bone Wolk has been working with this duo for ten years on their records. Greg Brown goes on tour with them, for many dates this year. I heard of Karen Savoca through several musicians I deeply admire, and then saw her listed on Susan McKeown's site [see our review this issue, and archived interview] as one of her favorites, so I finally got in touch. Every time I find an artist this outstanding that I've never heard before, it reminds me how many of them there must be that need to be brought to a wider audience, and the mission of Puremusic becomes clear and worthwhile again.

On the two funkiest numbers, "Let Me Down Easy" and "Love Is a Hammer," Greg Brown lays down his basso profundo backing vocals, really a great touch. Pete Heitzman is an amazing player of many instruments, and seems equally at home on acoustic and electric guitar, including tenor, baritone, slide, and bowed guitar. He also plays Hammond organ, mandolin, banjo, bass pedals, and cello. Right. Karen is a very funky percussionist on conga, reed thumb piano, roto tom, tambourine, talking drum, xylophone, and shakers. She is also a fine guitarist.

This duo is a great new find for us. Check it out on the Listen page, and be sure to visit their entertaining website.  • FG

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