Review by Jeff Nania
Annie & the Hedonists
Tonal Indulgence is Annie & the Hedonists’ first commercial release in more than three years, and it expands upon the group’s repertoire of early blues, jazz, swing, Americana and tunes by the likes of Leonard Cohen and the late great Hazel Dickens. The band celebrates with a two-night CD release party at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs on Friday & Saturday (November 27 & 28).
Vocalist Annie Rosen leads the group with her clover honey vocals, and the remaining hedonists (her husband Jonny Rosen, and fellow bandmates Peter Davis and Don Young) fill out the sound with acoustic and electric guitars, upright bass, clarinet and delicious vocal harmonies like on the tracks “Tweedlee Dee” and “Choo’n Gum,” which both use that sparse and sweet electric lead guitar with the stacked voices for thickness.
The group places an emphasis on covering the music of great female artists throughout the ages, and the liner notes make special little annotations about each tune like the very first track, “My Daddy Rocks Me” by Trixie Smith, who was the first to use the words “rock and roll” in a song or Hazel Dickens’ “My Hearts Own Love,” which says it was “her first positive love song” written about “being survivors in the male dominated world of bluegrass.”