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Ligtning in a Bottle
Posted by: BigAlAtBestBuy from: Southwest, USA on
"The Happiest Lamb", the title song of this debut album of singer-songwriter Audra Mae, follows her trademark tradition of story-in-a-song. The lyrics are a narration of the world through the eyes of a young lamb, which follows the shepherd-man faithfully, until she notices that "There were all kinda other little pretty young sheep/Havin' all kinda pretty young fun..." It is a humorous piece. "Little Sparrow" is a cover of the title song of a 2001 album of the same name by Dolly Parton. In this song, the vocal of Audra Mae is accompanied by a terse and soulful tune of piano--a departure from her usual guitar accompaniment. "Lightning in a Bottle" is a mournful song about the regret of lost youth, together with its opportunity & vitality--"I made lightning in a bottle/But I forgot the recipe." "Snake Bite" is a ballad on the scourge of drug and drug dealers. "The River" is about washing her sins away and be "born again tomorrow"; it is a story of sin and redemption. "The Fable" is an interesting, but sad, tale about unacquired love between two wolves, as the chained he-wolf howls in his pan and she-wolf cries in the forest. Another one of my favorites is the hauntingly beautiful mountain song of "Bandida", in the Appalachian folk tradition. "Sullivan's Letter" is based on a note Audra Mae discovered on the back of a piece of music given to her by her father. It was about a letter written by a Civil War soldier, Sullivan Ballou, to his wife, saying that if he dies in battle, he would come back to her as "a soft breeze upon her cheek..." Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later in the first Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.
A talented singer-songwriter, Audra Mae came from a prominent musical lineage: her maternal great grandaunt was Judy Garland, and Liza Minnelli is her cousin. She dropped out of college at the age of 19 and moved to L.A. from her birthplace, Oklahoma, to find her fortune. She writes her songs in a unique story-in-a-song style, based on things that she sees, hears, and does. Some are from her personal experience; others she makes up to express a thought in her mind. She sings her songs in a rich "whisky" voice, with sparse instrument accompaniment, usually a guitar and a drum set. She came to fame when she penned the lyrics of "What I was born to be" in the debut album of Susan Boyle. Her first known music publication was a 5-song digital EP, Audra Mae, released on April 2009. On October 2009, Audra Mae released a second 5-song digital EP, Haunt, and, on May 2010, her debut LP album, The Happiest Lamb. When she is not making albums, she is on tour performing in front of a live audience. She is slowly acquiring a loyal following. Bill Armstrong, one of the label owners of SideOne Dummy Records, once told her, "This is a slow climb, and we're in it for the long haul, but you never know; you might hit lightning in a bottle." She might have done just that.
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