Strange Conversation

Strange Conversation

by Kris Delmhorst
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Strange Conversation

At first glance, Kris Delmhorst’s ambitious and triumphant Strange Conversation might seem to merit a cautionary sticker: Music Advisory: Pretentious Content. But thankfully, no warning is needed. Delmhorst executes her classy concept -- turning poems from the likes of Browning, Byron, Witman, E.E. Cummings and others into songs -- by delivering celebratory tracks that are short on pomposity, long on inspiration, and wisely powered by rootsy, moody, skiffle ‘n blues arrangements and her own sultry Madeline Peyroux-meets- Dar Williams vocals. Some of the poems here get new lyrics while others inspire completely new works. Delmhorst’s interpretive powers are respectful and smart: Byron’s "We’ll Go No More A Roving" is a shuffling, bluesy elegy; "Water Water," her take on Robert Herrick’s "Scare-Fire," is a barn-burner; and the version of Cummings "Pretty How Town" is a fiddle-fueled hoe-down -- fun and whimsical, yet trickily arranged. When she takes her pen out, Delmhorst holds her own on some of the strongest tracks here. The giddy "Galuppi Baldassare" bounces off Robert Browning’s own tribute to composer Baldassare Galuppi, while the haunting pairing of "Strange Conversation" and "The Drop & The Dream" mine Hermann Broch’s lyrical novel The Death of Virgil to muse on the artistic drive to create. While that may sound a bit heady, don’t fret, the album closes with a simpler idea: "Everything Is Music." Here Delmhorst repurposes Rumi’s wonderful line ‘We have fallen into the place where everything is music." It's a fitting finale. Strange Conversation, where music is poetry and poetry is music, is one of those places.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/27/2006
Label: Signature Sounds
UPC: 0701237129921
catalogNumber: 1299

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kris Delmhorst   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Fiddle,Piano,Cello,Vocals,Voices
Kevin Barry   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Piano,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar
Lorne Entress   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Paul Kochanski   Vocals,Upright Bass
Mike Peipman   Trumpet
Tom West   Hammond Organ
Chris Rival   Organ
Mark Chenevert   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Dave Harris   Trombone,Tuba

Technical Credits

Chris Rival   Engineer,Fader Engineer
Coleman Barks   translation
John Masefield   Composer
Brian Turner   Artwork
Kris Delmhorst   Composer,Producer,Adaptation
Byron   Composer

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Strange Conversation 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At hearing a few of her poetry inspired tunes on NPR yesterday I decided this would be the next music purchase for me. This is saying something, since the last time I bought music was over 7 years ago! This is a CD the whole family can enjoy without worry of bad influences and the music is quite lovely to boot!!