Personnel: Christine Lavin (vocals, acoustic guitar); Robin Batteau (vocals, violin, drums, fingersnaps); Terry Cashman, Lucy Kaplanski, Dave Van Ronk (vocals); Mark Dann (acoustic guitar, bass); Frank Christian (acoustic guitar); Jeff Southworth (electric … see full wiki
"It don't matter what kind of loving you're into, or how big your wallet might be, all you need's an air conditioner... and you're the man for me!"
These are just a few of the words that got my attention one third of July evening as I sat in a two hour traffic jam after a big fire work show. It took two more years for me to find out who the artist was.
I would go to parties and ask strangers if they'd ever heard a song about an air conditioner. Usually with raised eyebrows they'd tell me "no." One day as I was at the Newsletter Stuffing/Pizza Party at the AIDS Resource Center, doing a little community service and dodging the intent flirting of a very nice young lady I popped the question about the air conditioner. Miss Flirt starts singing it--quite nicely I must admit and I had to agree that this was the song I'd been seeking. She says very brightly, "Oh, THAT'S Christine Lavin." A few months later, on a New York trip with my husband, we wandered into Tower Records and found a computer and put in "Christine Lavin" and "Air Conditioner." Lo and Behold the search returned "Beau Woes..." I had to buy it. We wandered back over to the East Village hat shop that we call home in NYC and proceeded to listen and howl with laughter at the song stylings of Miss Lavin.
Christine Lavin has a VERY pleasing voice, clear and clean with a nice range and some show style vocal qualities thrown in for fun. She also plays a mean acoustic guitar. I would have to describe her music as "Urban Folk." She's obviously a city girl singing about city girl issues. Her songs range from ballads (Dolores and Edwin: The Movie) to a new age performance type piece (Biological Time Bomb). She does wonderful little ditties (Amoeba Hop and Prince Charles) to rousing modern day commentary (Camping). She has an incredible sense of humor and it comes through in her music. If you are not into poking a little fun, you probably wouldn't like this artist.
I brought the CD home and played it for my children. They now know all the words to all the songs as well as a few other of Lavin's CD's. They delight in capturing friends and making them sit and listen to songs such as Prince Charles - a bemoaning of the bachelor prince getting hitched... "Think about her 30 years from now when she's an old and ugly queen...Take a look at your mother boy and you'll know what I mean." Of course this was recorded long before Princess Diana's untimely death, but it is still a cute song.
"The Ballad of a Ballgame," is a touching tale for any of us who has ever been the last one to be picked in a line up for a team sport. "Roses from the Wrong Man" is a bittersweet song about choices.
All in all, there is not a bad song on this CD. Many of them are quite excellent. If you haven't heard of Lavin and you want to hear something refreshing, I'd heartily recommend Beau Woes.
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