Cranston, RI (PRWEB) August 22, 2009
On its surface, Golden Earrings is a simple duet recording. Just beneath that surface, however, lie several extraordinary qualities. Most obviously, it's a duet recording between two special talents. Secondly, it is a testament to the work of a legendary artist. And, finally, Golden Earrings serves as the swan song of an American guitar giant.
Golden Earrings is Laura Theodore (of Bloomingdale, NJ) and Joe Beck's ode to the work of Peggy Lee and her husband, guitarist Dave Barbour. Beck and Theodore touch on many of the couple's highest and most popular musical points, including "Manana (Is Soon Enough For Me)," the biggest song of 1948, and the classic "Fever," along with some lesser known hits. Theodore, a lovely singer in the Lee mold, comes up with some wonderful interpretations, as does the masterful Beck. This is not surprising, considering Beck actually accompanied Lee as her guitarist on and off for ten years--just one of the many highlights on his illustrious resume.
But rest assured, this is not a faithful recreation of the Lee/Barbour performances. Theodore and Beck are unique stylists and their collaborations are raw, elegant, and often connected to the originals by a single thread: the passion of the originals. Recognized critic Scott Yanow noted that the duet "gives listeners a new and sometimes offbeat look into these vintage songs. Laura Theodore is heard at her best and Joe Beck exits on top."
Indeed, Golden Earrings stands as the final creative statement from Beck. He died in the summer of 2008 at the age of 62. But Yanow is correct; he exited on top, the recording is his farewell tour de force. He tears through this material with the gusto and relish of a gypsy genius, by turns potent, dexterous, elegant and bluesy. Across the recording he demonstrates an affinity for multiple stylistic dimensions and colors. He's a master at creating an orchestra of sounds on his custom Martin Archtop (designed by Dale Unger) and his guitar bejewels these songs with glistening chords and polished picking.
Both Theodore's vocals and Beck's playing unite in perfect harmony and together create an extraordinary chemistry, one that Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour themselves would have undoubtedly been proud.