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Monday, June 28, 2010

Peter Karp/Sue Foley

He Said, She Said (Blind Pig)

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What started as an exchange of correspondence between two musicians who spend a lot of time on the road turned into a 14-song album. Peter Karp and Sue Foley are singers, songwriters and guitarists with loads of life experiences and talent. Foley has won numerous Canadian and French music awards. Karp is a masterful songwriter whose witty and insightful lyrics prompt quick comparisons to John Prine and John Hiatt.

As the title suggests, the collaboration juxtaposes the perspectives of a man and a woman about romantic relationships. Lines from one song respond non-sequentially to lines from another. The painfully honest lyrics convey complex and dark emotions such as anguish, despair and, especially, the fear that can accompany love. In Karp’s “Ready for Your Love,” a song with qualities of a big hit, Karp sings humorous yet real lines like: “You’re gonna rip the heart out of my chest/ You’re gonna love me hard then leave me for dead.” In “Scared,” another of Karp’s songs, Foley sings: “I don’t have a plan/ I don’t know where I stand/ I don’t know who I am/ All I can say is I love you darling…” The central focus is of people with troubled, ambivalent thoughts who are trying to hold back from or are hesitantly giving in to what lies ahead.

Although the lyrics are at the forefront of this album, the music sets the mood and traverses a variety of styles, including roots rock, flamenco, jazz and country blues. Karp’s slide guitar and Foley’s sweet voice are just two of the elements that make the instrumentals worth listening to as attentively as the duo’s interchange of themes.

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