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CD Review: Sarah Pedinotti 

click to enlarge Pedinotti, 2007
  • Pedinotti, 2007

Saratoga Springs songbird Sarah Pedinotti’s exquisite new release often has a latent New Orleans feel and pulse, but regularly goes to other exotic locales as well, skipping across genres like a stone on a still pond. Her literate lyrics live in tunes that are more like mini-movies or cinematic short stories than mere songs, and she’s supported by the illustrious Tony Markellis on bass, Dave Payette on piano, and Chris Carey on drums.

First on the menu, a wiry guitar announces “Train Song,” which sets the tone with its spicy French Quarter feel. “Je Me Souviens de Toi” has Jacque Brel leanings, with a slow-burn, bump-and-grind bridge for flair. The joyful “Romeo Sadface” is catchy and commercial, and holds more hooks then a tackle box. “Julio” has a Springsteen desolate-boardwalk vibe, as does the dark and delicious “Rain-Colored Highway.” Both are equal parts recitation and singing, in a Dr. John or Tom Waits manner. “Margaret and Barbara” features a haunting verse that falls into a hip-hop chorus, “Please Leave Me Be” has country flavors, and the title track, “City Bird,” takes it all home.
With Pedinotti’s impeccable back phrasing, clever production, and amazing arrangements, this release surely raises the bar for regional recordings. One of the best, if not the best local CD in years, it’ll surely make waves far beyond the region.

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