Wendy Wall has maintained her grace. She’s survived heartbreak, inner demons, deferred dreams and the sometimes seemingly unforgiving terms of life as an artist. Rather than lapse into bitterness or cynicism, which Ms. Wall would describe as a personal defeat, she has the rare gift of turning pain into beauty.
On your first spin through Wendy’s new record The Road to Paradise her densely textured voice is the initial draw; it is magical and haunted, evoking such greats as Joni Mitchell and Sarah Vaughn.
But don’t stop there. Spin it again and the voice draws you into the full beauty of the song. Listening to Wendy Wall’s music is like appreciating a particularly lustrous fabric, a shimmering, intricately interlaced sonic weave of life, love, loss, transcendence, and hope.
With an unfiltered connection straight from heart to voice, Ms. Wall sings of love lost, love renewed, of life, of community, of humanity, of hard lessons learned, of transformation, in a voice that radiates warmth, empathy and a paradoxical innocence that somehow manages to coexist side by side with experience and wisdom. The lyrics, on their own, read as soul-searching statements on the human experience. An accomplished songwriter, Ms. Wall crafts musical poetry.
With the perfect blend of skill and inspiration, singer/songwriter Wendy Wall, and the nuanced vocals, guitars and rhythms on The Road to Paradise, instantly draw your attention and hold you until the final note.
The finished fabric of her music allows what is essential to unfold slowly, the listener to savor the discovery. Through her creative process, Ms. Wall makes a real and lasting connection with her fans and creates a musical conversation to continue for years to come.
For Wendy Wall, The Road to Paradise (national release: March 31, 2009) represents a return to roots, to longtime trusted friends - musical and personal friendships originally formed in Greenwich Village and The Bitter End. The new CD is packed with players who started performing together as part of that thriving downtown scene, the authentic downtown family. Wendy writes of her journey to the new record:
What I finally did start to do was write. Then bring the songs to Baker, to the studio, to the band. I met with Stewart Lerman. He and his studio exuded warmth. We started to record and over the course of two years made a record I named The Road to Paradise after a song I’d written. It took that long to make because resources were slim, but the time was good. Music has always made life possible for me. If someone needs to hear the story I’m humming half as much as I needed to hum it, randomness factors out. And it all makes sense.
The ethereal and dreamlike quality of the opening and closing tracks on The Road to Paradise provide perfect bookends to a lyrical and musical story that represents a time of further transition in the artists life. The Road to Paradise, with thirteen new songs written and performed by Wendy Wall, features Baker Lee, guitar, and co-arranger (Melanie, Sonny Terry) Steve Holley, drums and percussion (Paul McCartney and Wings, Dar Williams, Joe Cocker) Kevin Jenkins, bass (Cyndi Lauper, John Gorka) Marc Shulman, guitar (Suzanne Vega, Edie Brikell, Jonatha Brooke) Larry Campbell, banjo, mandolin (Bob Dylan, Roseanne Cash, Paul Simon) Tommy B Thompson, background vocals, guitar, co-arranger.