American Tune by Eva Cassidy | 739341007927 | CD | Barnes & Noble
American Tune

American Tune

5.0 4
by Eva Cassidy
It was years after vocalist Eva Cassidy lost her battle with cancer that she found fame, and it's been a few years more that the music world can identify just why. Cassidy, who died in 1996, was in many was a precursor to Norah Jones -- another vocalist who has the ability to take most any kind of music and make it her own. On American Tune, Cassidy doesn’t


It was years after vocalist Eva Cassidy lost her battle with cancer that she found fame, and it's been a few years more that the music world can identify just why. Cassidy, who died in 1996, was in many was a precursor to Norah Jones -- another vocalist who has the ability to take most any kind of music and make it her own. On American Tune, Cassidy doesn’t need to over-emote on “True Colors,” as Cyndi Lauper did with her version. Instead, she makes the love song build from a folk beginning to an enthralling plea for recognition and then returns to a quiet ending. With their powerful simplicity, Cassidy’s versions of “The Water Is Wide” and “Dark Eyed Molly” could have been sung by a young Joni Mitchell, while her take on the Billie Holiday signature tune “God Bless the Child” comes not so much from the blues of the original but more from the hippie pop of the '60s. Neither her cover of Paul Simon’s “American Tune” nor the Beatles' “Yesterday” sits far from the original versions. Perhaps most surprising for those new to Cassidy is her gentle but jazzy takes on the standards “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing” and “Hallelujah I Love Him So.” But the real shocker is a bluesy rock version of soul singer Joe Simon’s 1971 hit “Drowning in the Sea of Love.” Here Cassidy lets loose without going over the top, enticing the listener with a deep pain that needs no hysterical enhancements. Her most special music, no matter its source, came straight from the heart.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
The saga of Eva Cassidy, the late Washington, D.C., singer who gained fame long after her early passing from melanoma, continues vibrantly on American Tune, a collection of ten more "leftovers" that former bandmates discovered in the past year -- similarly as they did on Imagine, the previous release of great cuts. While she never achieved much more than local recognition in her lifetime, her inspirational legacy is not only rooted in her own story of personal courage but her ability to take songs that have been heard thousands of times and make them sound fresh, exciting, even better than the original. Just as Sting marveled at her heartbreaking rendition of "Fields of Gold," you can imagine Cyndi Lauper finding joy in the singer's take on "True Colors," which begins softly, with an angelic vocal before the full power of Cassidy's blues-rock vocals and her band take over (that slow build is a Cassidy trademark as well). The fun part of any new Cassidy hodgepodge is pegging the many genres she draws from, almost as if she's thumbing her nose at the record execs who wouldn't sign her because she refused to limit herself to any one style. There's the soul-funk drama of "Drowning in the Sea of Love," the gentle acoustic guitar hymn "The Water Is Wide," and a lively rendition of Ray Charles' "Hallelujah I Love (Him) So." The introspective Paul Simon tune the album is named for is given a gently powerful reading but lacks the eye-popping emotional power she gives to "God Bless the Child" and "Yesterday," songs you might think you'd heard quite enough versions of. The set closes with the plaintive love song "You Take My Breath Away," well known to folks nowadays from Tuck & Patti's version. Based on the ongoing discovery of more tunes Cassidy no doubt never thought would see the light of day, you can only hope that there are more trunks full of tapes waiting to be mastered and released.

Product Details

Release Date:
Blix Street


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Eva Cassidy   Primary Artist,Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Soloist
Lenny Williams   Organ,Piano
Marcy Marxer   Bouzouki,Guitar,Overdubs,tin whistle
Dan Cassidy   Violin
Geoff Gillette   Overdubs
Chris Biondo   Bass
Keith Grimes   Electric Guitar
Jimmy Campbell   Drums
Raice McLeod   Drums
Bruno Nasta   Violin

Technical Credits

Archie Fisher   Composer
Cathy Fink   Engineer
Ray Charles   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Paul Simon   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Billie Holiday   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Kenny Gamble   Composer
Arthur Herzog   Composer
Leon Huff   Composer
Tom Kelly   Composer
Billy Steinberg   Composer
Eva Cassidy   Arranger,Drawing
Chris Biondo   Producer,Engineer
Bill Straw   Producer
Traditional   Composer
Bryan McCulley   Engineer
Martin Jennings   Liner Notes

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American Tune 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've played through the American Tune CD, and have been listening to "You Take My Breath Away," and "American Tune," both great tracks. I can get entralled with the whole CD yet these two tracks grab me and won't let me go. "You Take My Breath Away," is so hypnotic like the affect of listening to "Danny Boy," This song however brings back visions of ones' romantic past. You can go all the way back to your first romance, when you fell in love, to the loves you still remember that will always be in your supressed memory. It's to be played over and over again, until those images grow deeper and deeper into your psyche. It is so beautiful. I can listen to it as if in a meditative trance. I will never tire of this song. Please don't miss, "You Take My Breath Away." "American Tune," well, what can I say, a lot of imagery, very emotional with deep thoughts of the strengths and struggles this lifestyle requires, from America's inception, through the current identity crisis washing upon us, with the terrorists and the decision to invade Iraq. The overriding everyday responsibility of working, and making a future, to many of us, is very exhausting. Eva has nailed this song and the message is "hope." When, and if, this song eventually becomes the modern day American anthem, perhaps we can see how all those people, like Eva, who work so very hard to make a living in this country, are affected by Eva's music. What about these songs? They have been worth the price of the album and then some.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first CD of hers I bought was songbird, then Time after time, then Eva by Heart. I cried the first tiem I heard Songbird all the way through. She has such passion and vocal range.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first heard Eva three years ago,I wondered where I had been not to notice the voice.Was it becuse I thought I had been listening to ""Good""music, and didn't reach for more.This dear Soul,had the clearity of an angel, the depth of the soul,and the voice of a saint.She has mystified me since I first heard her sing. I can only wish that some how she is aware of the gift she had, and how the gift continues in the soul of us who cannot get enough of her music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful tribute to the American people in this latest release by Eva Cassidy. Once again she is able to take such well known songs as "American Tune" and "Yesterday," and bring them to a new diminsion as she did with Songbird's "Over The Rainbow." This is a truly inspirational CD...