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Alyssa Graham's Gone To Look For "America" - Critics Love The Ride

posted Aug 20, 2008, 8:30 AM by Vu Nguyen
From Shorefire


"Honey-Voiced" (Washington Post) Vocalist Interprets Classic Tune Tenderly On New Album 'Echo'

Vocalist Alyssa Graham's new album, 'Echo' (Sunnyside) is as diverse as it is dazzling, mixing deeply felt originals with intimate interpretations of songs from around the world. The record kicks off at home, though, with a tender version of Paul Simon's "America."
The track is especially personal for Graham, who grew up in New Jersey, where the song's narrator counts cars on the Turnpike from a window seat on a bus. In her version, she replaces Simon's "Kathy" with longtime love and musical collaborator Doug Graham, singing, "'Douglas, I'm lost,' I said, though I knew he was sleeping/ 'I'm empty and aching and I don't know why.'"

"Each cover song on 'Echo' is part of the album's overall journey," Graham explains. "While recording 'America,' I was able to jump on that Greyhound bus. The great Paul Simon wrote this exquisite song, but for those six minutes, the story was my story." raved that Graham "projects herself completely into the psychological space of Paul Simon's song, singing with total honesty and directness." Rating the track a stellar 94/100, the review concluded: "She's not a star yet. But just wait and see..."
The Washington Post said, "The honey-voiced chanteuse covers Paul Simon... and it smokes!"

Other critics agree about Graham's talents: The New York Times praised her "sumptuous and flexible croon," while Jazz Times described the album as "Stunning... One of those rare hybrids whose jazz, pop and folk-rock roots, when entwined, equal far more than the sum of their parts."

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