Molly Dean CD release – The Natural Minor

Thursday night  Molly Dean’s played her new CD, The Natural Minor – live at the Icehouse. She was surrounded by an array of well-known Minnesota musicians and while each made the show better, Dean took center stage. Her guitar playing adds has an undercurrent of Americana while her voice moves pleasantly up and down with her songs.

Fire Burned Bright is slower paced song for Dean. The cello (Dan Zamzow) and violin (Shannon Frid-Rubin) give a classic feel while percussion (Paul Jennings) keeps a tempo that brings the music back to the ground, where the audience is. Dean’s voice is as sweet as the story of the song and she’s not afraid of a pregnant pause, which gives a nice offbeat to several of her songs, Fire Burned Bright and others. in contrast, a song like Autumn Sky is toe tapping with a nice guitar rift (Erik Koskinen).

Conversations is the song that I was singing the day after the show. It might be a girls’ song but it’s catchy and shows the earthier side of Dean’s voice from deep, to high, to rasp. Storyteller is an interesting lyrical recap of all of the songs – but it also is like a sampler of the musical tastes found in the rest of the songs. It’s a rich blend of very distinct sounds – often happening at once but each sounds is clear and distinct and fits.

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