Amy Fradon, beloved and well-respected for her soaring and soulful vocals and intimate, melodic songwriting has been wooing audiences all over the world with her fine acoustic band, Small Town News.
If you haven¹t heard of Amy, here is a brief list some of her credits. She has sung and/ or recorded with respected artists such as Ed Sanders and the Fugs, Rick Danko and The Band, Happy and Artie Traum, Rory Block, Terri Roche, Maria Muldaur, John Sebastian, Tiny Tim, Tom Chapin, Pete Seeger,
Peter Shickley, Jay Unger and Molly Mason, John Hall, Orleans, Arlo Guthrie, Guy Davis, John Platania, Lucy Kaplansky, The Vanaver Caravan and many more. She appeared in three National Touring Companies of the Broadway smash hit Pump Boys and Dinettes and has sung numerous jingles including Gimbles dept. stores, ACME supermarkets and Sheiks Condems (!) She is the founder of the Vocal Visionary Foundation and has an extensive private practice as a voice instructor. She hs taught at Omega Institute, The Beyond Mind Healing Center and SUNY Purchase Conservatory Of Music.
Most people remember her for her recording partnership with Leslie Ritter on Shanachie/ Cachet Records which yielded the duo a top 20 hit on the Gavin radio charts in 1994. Amy¹s song, Roll On was one of the first videos accepted by VH1¹s acoustic programming in 1990.
Amy has been touring with her acoustic band since 1995. They have played such well-known venues as the Philly Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, London¹s the Weavers, the Bottom Line,Toronto Harbourfest, Rudolstadt InternationalDance and Music Fest and many more.
The members of Small Town News are: Tim Moore; acoustic guitar/ piano/vocals, Mark Murphy; upright bass/ cello/ vocals, Ken McGloin; acoustic guitar, Paul Duffy; keyboards, Amanda Rothenberg and Vickie Russell; harmony vocals. Depending on the size of a venue you will hear either the whole band or an even more ³unplugged² version of Small Town News featuring the raw beauty of Amy¹s voice and one or two of the other band members. Either way, they will play the songs that Amy¹s fans have come to know and love as well as the newer selections from the upcoming release entitled Small Town News.
Amy Fradon and Small Town News deliver an unforgettable and heart-opening evening of music. It¹s a mixture of intimate and sophisticated and above all, honest and unpretentious. Dirty Linen magazine likened Amy¹s songwriting to the ³best of Robbie Robertson² of The Band. Whether you are seeing Small Town News in it¹s trrimmed down ³unplugged, unplugged² version or the entire group with it¹s many textures and talents, you will go home with the sense of having been a part of something very special and real.
Small Town News is the latest CD by Amy Fradon and her band Small Town News. It¹s a collection of 14 songs with the usual variety that Amy¹s fans appreciate so much and includes songs that they have been hearing for awhile as well as some debut material. The CD was lovingly coproduced by Amy Fradon and John Platania.
The title, Small Town News, is the title of the last song on the CD which Amy co-penned with songwriter and bandmember Tim Moore. It¹s a classic torch song about a singer from a small town in Anywhere, America and sings to the power and glory of the unsung heroes of small towns everywhere.
Although the themes on the CD are varied, many songs reflect the loving interest and observation that Amy has for small town life and situations. Songs like Lily and Billy and Magic Moonbeam Motel are true stories and vigniettes of people and places that Amy has known or witnessed. Other songs
such as Silver Wings (a goodbye song for the late and great Rick Danko) and Come What May( a song inspired by the wild beauty of a rainstorm in the Catskill Mountains) reflect Amy¹s love for her community and region. And, as Amy¹s fans will tell you, there are a few moments of gritty comic relief in songs like Hambone ( a solution to arguing) and Nevessa ( about an entrepreneurial prostitute) that will keep you from pinning this songwriter/singer to any one genre or point of view.
Musically, the CD is brought to life by Amy¹s beautiful, versatile and expressive voice and the outstanding musicianship of the Small Town News band and a few cherished guests such as Artie Traum, Guy Davis, Frank Matheis, John Kirk and John Platania. Katy Taylor and Vickie Russell sing
duets with Amy on songs they copenned with her. Tim Moore sings a duet with Amy on the classic Everly Brothers tune, Let It Be Me.
The playing is subtle and glorious throughout the CD and Amanda Rothenberg and Vickie Russell add their stellar harmonies everywhere. Harmony lovers will appreciate the version of Phil Ochs¹ ³What¹s That I Hear?² and the heart wrenching voices on Silver Wings. Upright bassist Mark Murphy adds his
beautiful voice to the traditional flavor song ³Do Remember Me².. And, as always, Ken McGloins¹ tasteful acoustic guitar weaves its way through the CD and lends his unique musical perspective.
This is a beautiful, mature and rich piece of work created over the last three years by a group of the Hudson Valley regions¹ best. It is honest and refreshing, comical, moving and lush. It is for those listeners who appreciate a great voice, elegant harmonies, really good songwriting and fabulous musicianship.