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Sinner's Serenade
Live 2000
Artist: Ramsie Shick
Label: Crucible Artists
Time: 11 tracks/
          6 tracks / 36:31

The liner notes of Ramsie Shick's CD Sinner's Serenade readily admit this offering as "lo-fi," and explain that the disc was recorded "the old way," with singers and players circled around some simple recording equipment in a warehouse. There are pluses and minuses that come with this approach. One assumes this was a step taken out of necessity due to the inexpensive nature of this type of recording, and Shick shines in a "live" type of setting. There is an organic charm throughout the record. However, the resulting imperfections (distortion, etc.) can be a bit distracting at times.

Sinner's Serenade features some memorable moments, including the whimsical "Dog On Your Porch" which hearkens Edie Brickel and has the singer begging (get it?) to be let into her Master's house: "Take me into your blanket / I' ll do what I'm Told / Let me sit by your fire / This doggy's cold." Shick's Joplin-esque vocals on "Twister" stand out on an album of mostly quiet,
introspective musings.

As quiet as Sinner's Serenade is, Live 2000 is a noisy, raucous six-song romp. Shick seems more at home in this concert setting, and doesn't feel the need to rein in her vocals.  There was no track listing available for this review, but one song from Sinner's Serenade, "Forever and a Day," does appear on this live disc. Here, Shick meanders comfortably into another song, and then back into "Forever and a Day."  Again, she channels Janis Joplin in her passion-filled vocals.

Sinner's Serenade and Live 2000 are a nice introduction to Ramsie Shick.  The listener first gets to know Shick through her introspective lyrics, and then gets to let loose and rock out with her.

Dave Kerschbaum  1/15/2002



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