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Christine Fellows ( http://www.christinefellows.com/ )

The Last One Standing
Six Shooter ( http://www.sixshooterrecords.com/ @SixShooterR )
It seems we Canadians know something about storytelling, and that is that sometimes how the story is told and how it is ornamented, is as important as the story itself. On The Last One Standing, her second full-length release, Christine Fellows' tales are relayed in a kind of duet between her piano and voice. The keys coax out spare waltz-time frames and lullaby soft melodies, only occasionally raising pitch to more dramatic scale. Fellows' poetics are phrased in a warm, lightly inflected tone reminiscent of Rebecca Gates or perhaps Lisa Germano. Unlike many recent piano-based songwriters (read: divas) Fellows never needs to resort to tricks and histrionics to put across emotional depth. The songs all have a wit and truth about them that understands that when you share sadness it can become hope. Even the plainest of sentiments are given slight twists, such as in "bird as prophet" where a feathered visitor entreats, "What I wouldn't give for arms to hold you /We are creatures of such like desires." The choice of adornments (casual cello and viola, thumb pianos, bowed glockenspiel) is so tasteful and unobtrusive they feel inseparable from mix. Providing a strong, flexible spine to work around are fellow Winnipeg natives Jason Tait and John K. Samson of The Weakerthans. The album is devoid of weak spots and unconfined by any genre specificity, playable across rock, folk or even jazz formats. A highly recommended listen. RECOMMENDED TRACKS: "Regrets", "Veda's Waltz", "Blueprints", "Bird as Prophet" - Eric Hill, CHSR Radio, Fredericton, NB

By Eric Hill
Jun 6, 2002

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