Sarah Maisel – With Love, Sarah Maisel (2012)

The Queen of the Ukulele has returned to the fray with yet another captivating collection of songs! Not only does Sarah pack a wallop of wizardry on the stringed-instrument, but she also sings like an angel.

Cemented by Gordon Freitas on steel guitar, Paul Tillery on bass and Duncan Moore on drums, With Love, Sarah Maisel (Rolltop Records) conveys a full-bodied tone. Acclaimed guitarist Tim Coffman twisted the knobs on the disc, resulting in a superb production job illuminating with warmth and emotion.

Devised of cover songs, With Love, Sarah Maisel stays true to the original essence of the material, but rather than reviving such selections note for note, arrangements are often tweaked here and there. Peculiar shadows occasionally peek through the curtains, supplying the tracks with rather unconventional angles.

Standards like “In A Sentimental Mood,” “How High The Moon” and “Blue Skies” sparkle with clarity and freshness, making them appear as if they are contemporary offerings. An instrumental version of “Yesterday” stages a whole new approach to the heavily-reprised Beatles classic, while “When Hilo Hattie Does The Hilo Hop” percolates with peppy and playful rhythms.

Buzzing with electricity, a treatment of Steve Goodman’s “City Of New Orleans” adds an extra layer of depth to the initial recording, and then there’s a catchy take of the Motown marvel, “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You,” which twinkles and twitters with style and substance.

Providing an impressive assimilation of pop, jazz, folk, country, light rock and Island sounds, With Love, Sarah Maisel obviously defies pigeonholing. But the songs, anchored by Sarah’s dazzling strumming and vibrant vocals, flow together nicely. Compulsive listening guaranteed!

Click here to purchase: http://www.sarahmaisel.com/store

Have Uke Will Travel

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.

Here's where you talk back ...