Heron Smiled

The Heron Smiled

by Annie Humphrey
     
 
Native American singer/songwriter Annie Humphrey has an appealing, somewhat throaty voice that sometimes recalls the phrasing of Stevie Nicks, and she writes attractive folk-rock music well suited to that voice. The weakness of her first nationally distributed album, however, is in the lyrics she sings, most of which were written by

Overview

Native American singer/songwriter Annie Humphrey has an appealing, somewhat throaty voice that sometimes recalls the phrasing of Stevie Nicks, and she writes attractive folk-rock music well suited to that voice. The weakness of her first nationally distributed album, however, is in the lyrics she sings, most of which were written by Carson Gardner. Gardner tends to write vague abstractions in repetitive structures, such that, even when you can figure out what he's getting at, you don't care. Humphrey does her best to freshen up the stale language, singing as though the lyrics were more compelling than they are, which tends to make The Heron Smiled the sort of album that sounds better if you don't listen too closely. When she writes by herself ("I Can Hear You") or with others ("See Her," co-written with her mother, author Anne Dunn, and Adrian Liberty), things don't improve much, but at least the songs are about something. The singer's American Indian heritage is referenced here and there, but the album's big set piece is the eight-minute "500 Years." Written by Humphrey, Gardner, and Dunn, the song is a compendium of Indian outrage written in the compressed, list style of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" that complains about everything from "conquistadors' golden lies" to Eskimo Pies. John Trudell, who does that sort of thing better and more concisely, turns up here and there on the album reciting lyrics behind Humphrey; he is also cited as an inspiration for a couple of the songs.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/02/2000
Label:
Makoche Records
UPC:
0703334016821
catalogNumber:
168

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Annie Humphrey   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Vocals
John Trudell   Vocals
Jovino Santos Neto   Piano,Keyboards
Adrian Liberty   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Gary Stroutsos   Flute
David Swenson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
William Mitchell   Bass
Dale Heib   Percussion,Drums
John Owen Lardinios   Violin
Jon Nyborg   Guitar
John Scalia   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Background Vocals
Brad Stockert   Percussion

Technical Credits

John Trudell   Liner Notes
Stephanie Meisel   Art Direction
David Swenson   Producer,Engineer
Annie Humphrey   Producer
Cherie Harms Harms   Administration
Jan Swenson   Administration

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