WHO: Isabel (Fryszberg) and The Uncommons – Steve Briggs, Don Kerr, Dennis Pendrith, Rosalyn Dennett and Dave Matheson w/ opening set by Erika Werry
WHAT: A CD release concert for Hearts and Arrows
WHERE: Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W. Toronto, ON
WHEN: Wednesday, November 12 – Doors 6pm / Show 8:30pm
TICKETS: $18 adv. / $20 door @ www.hughsroom.com or by calling 416-531-6604
Dinner reservations guarantee seating
WEBSITES: www.isabel-music.com / www.erikawerry.com / www.hughsroom.com
Former founder and member of the highly acclaimed all-female band Sisters of Sheynville, singer-songwriter Isabel Fryszberg’s solo debut CD Hearts and Arrows takes aim, along with a stellar cast of musical cupids called The Uncommons, and hits the mark head-on. Isabel and the Uncommons release the new music on Wednesday, November 12 at Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W. Toronto, at 9:15 pm, with an opening set by the fabulously quirky songstress Erika Werry at 8:30 pm.
Singer-songwriter Isabel Fryszberg has cocked the bow and let it rip. After a turbulent relationship break-up, she turned her sorrow into a celebration of love, loss and song. The result is an eclectic mix of heartbreaking, heartwarming and even somewhat sassy original songs wrapped in a CD bundle under the title Hearts and Arrows – sensual, funny, witty and musically broad gems that serve to both soothe and uplift the soul.
We can all relate. It’s one of those albums that so poignantly lets us know we’re not alone. But make no mistake, this is not just a sappy breakup album by any stretch. Sure there is longing and deep sadness as in the achingly raw, sweet and tender lullabye “New Love” or the hauntingly beautiful and insightful “Something Sacred” that leaves you messed up like “just another train wreck.” But it’s also a hopeful and cheeky romp into new horizons with songs like “A Man That Can Drive,” a ‘60s retro piece reminiscent of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” the Beatles’ “Drive My Car,” or “My Baby Does the Hanky Panky” by Tommy James and the Shondells.
To add a twist, there’s the slightly dangerous feel to songs like “Mr. Cover Up Man“ – that’s a little like the tune “Sinner Man,” utilizing musical saw and rockin’ guitar, and “I Don’t Wanna Know,” – where veteran musician/arranger Steve Briggs adds twangy guitar riffs and drummer/producer Don Kerr drives the tune with a slinky bossa nova groove.
Then there’s a lighter, more country-swing style on “I’d Give Away All My Love Songs,” with the sweetest of harmonies and fiddle by Rosalyn Dennett, kind of like something you’d hear on The Prairie Home Companion. The track “Oh Lord” follows suit, but with a more Americana melody and tell-it-like-it-is lyrics, such as “Where are you? I’ve been waiting. You know your dinner’s ready,“ that hit you over the head like an old-tyme medicine show.
Nature is a secondary theme here as well, since as we know, breakups tend to make us super aware of our surroundings and our senses extra intense. “Raindrop Kisses” uniquely uses strains from multi-instrumentalist Dennett’s banjo and Briggs’ guitar to simulate a welcome rain to wash away past hurt.
A definite highlight is the old-style jazz tune “New Moon” that has a similar feel to the classic “Blue Moon” and is ever-so-smooth and sweet. Fryszberg definitely harkens back to another era here and wrote this as she was waiting for her own “light” to come back. The lyrics are brilliant and hopeful: “I know you’re just the moon in disguise, only pretending to be half your size. New moon, your form is incomplete, I’m waiting for the moment when your two halves meet. New moon you’re not easy to see, when you’re taking your time just to be.” More guitar magic enhances this already lovely melody and Fryszberg’s vocals are charming and engaging.
Stylistically, Hearts and Arrows really takes you on a virtual heartbreak journey, with all its inherent twists and turns.
Band members and guest musicians along for the ride include :
Isabel Fryszberg – vocal, acoustic guitar
Steve Briggs – acoustic and electric guitar
Don Kerr – drums, percussion, vocal harmonies, piano (Something Sacred, New Love, One Heart)
Dennis Pendrith – acoustic bass
Rosalyn Dennet – banjo, fiddle, vocal harmonies
Sam Ferrara – musical saw (City Girl, Cover-Up Man)
Michael Holt – piano (Nothing Lasts But Love)
Julian Taylor – vocal harmony (Nothing Lasts But Love)
John Switzer – electric bass (Nothing Last But Love)
Dave Matheson – piano, acoustic guitar (for release concert)