Been Around With A Girl Called Eddy
Bruce Von Stiers
About fifteen years ago, there was someone who made quite a splash on the indie music scene. Her name was A Girl Called Eddy. She released a critically acclaimed self-titled album in 2004. After that she did a couple of EP's and helped out on other artist's material.
The start of 2020 finds A Girl Named Eddy releasing a brand new album. This album is an accumulation of several years of introspection and songwriting. The title of the new album is Been Around.
Been Around has twelve songs and a play time of forty-eight minutes. It is being released on the Elefant Records label. Eddy wrote several of the songs and co-wrote the rest.
The album was recorded at several studios; two in New York, two in Nashville and one in London. The last location makes perfect sense as Great Britain is where Eddy now lives.
I really didn't know anything about A Girl Named Eddy so I did some research. Her real name is Erin Moran and she hails from New Jersey. At one time Eddy was a member of the trip hop band, Leomoon. Later she performed with Francis Dunnery and toured with Josh Ritter. Eddy has listed among her influences people like Karen Carpenter, Burt Bacharach, Carole King and Paul McCartney. Fans and critics alike have compared Eddy to Amie Mann and Sarah McClachlan. Eddy's songs have often been listed as pop / soul but that doesn't quite capture the full essence of her music.
Eddy produced Been Around with Daniel Tashian. Not only was he the producer for Kacey Musgraves' Grammy winning album Golden Hour, he has worked on albums by Robert Ellis and Josh Turner, along with someone I recently saw in concert, Lucie Silvas. In addition to his producing duties on the album, Daniel also plays several instruments and does some backing vocals.
There is an amazing group of artists who assisted on the album. Jim Hoke plays sax, does percussion and various song arrangements. His credits include working on albums for Trace Atkins, Tricia Yearwood and Dolly Parton. Steve Herrman is on trumpet. He's played on albums by Ashley Cleveland, Buddy Guy and Blake Shelton.
Maureen Murphy has toured and recorded with the Zac Brown Band and recorded with other artists such as Nathan East and Toby Keith. She helps out on backing vocals on this album. Jason Eskridge also provides backing vocals. He's worked with people like Randy Travis and Nicole C. Mullen along with the Zac Brown Band. Another Zac Brown Band alum is Kendra Chantelle. Besides providing some backing vocals for this album, she has been touring with Tom Keifer of Cinderella fame. Aside from helping out on backing vocals on this album, Jenny Douglas has backed up Toto, Janet Jackson, Pink, Cher and Rob Thomas. Kyshona Armstrong does backing vocals as well. She has gotten accolades from NPR Music and has gotten a pretty decent following for blues and soul music. Julian Simmons has helped produced A Girl Named Eddy's previous album. He does backing vocals on this album. He also plays guitar and bass on it. Additional backing vocals were provided by indie folk / country artists, The Watson Twins.
Greg Plika has conducted and orchestrated for multiple documentaries and some feature films. He lends a hand on a song on this album with conducting and arrangement. Judy Lee has performed in the orchestra on Broadway for musicals such as Kiss Me, Kate, My Fair Lady and Moulin Rouge! She plays French and alto horns on a couple of songs on the album. Besides teaching at Julliard, Eric Reed is a member of the American Bass Quintet. He plays French and alto horns on the same songs as Judy Lee. And a third person to play French and alto horns on the album is Steve Sherts. He has performed in the orchestras for the Broadway productions of The King And I and King Kong.
I see that I am taking way too much space listing the credits of individual performers for this album. Here is the list of the remaining artists and their contributions to the album. Each one of them has extensive credits so check them out if you get a chance. Michael Leonhardt was on trumpet, Raymond James Mason was on trombone and Brandon Wright played tenor sax. Austin Hoke played cello and Avery Bright was on violin. Billy Huber was on trombone and Rex Horan was on bass. Jack Pollit did some drums and Fiona Brice played violin and did some string arrangements. Victor Krauss played the upright bass and Shez Sheridan played baritone guitar, lap steel and acoustic guitar.
The first song on the album begins with someone asking “girl, where you been?” The song is the title track, Been Around. It is a mild, lyrical song that actually emulates the style of some of Burt Bacharach's music. I had forgotten to mention earlier that Eddy does all of the lead vocals and also plays piano on the album.
Big Mouth has a kind of soft alt pop / folk sound. It's about someone who's in a relationship where the other person twists things being said and done to their advantage.
Jody has an upbeat tempo. It is a cool remembrance of a long ago friend. There is some cool head bopping music with tough horn music and a cool guitar solo. It's another song that made me think a bit of Burt Bacharach.
Charity Shop Window is a beautiful love lost ballad. It has terrific piano, cello and violin music backing Eddy's great vocals. Eddy co-wrote the song with Grammy and Academy Award winner Paul Williams. As Eddy states in one interview. “Yes, that Paul Williams.”
You just might think of Chrissy Hynes when you hear Eddy sing the lyrics in Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart.
Not That Sentimental Anymore is a slow, somewhat aching song. It's about hardening her heart against relationships. The song has a great horn solo.
Two Hearts kind of made me think that is was a throwback tribute to ‘60's pop / rock music. It has that type of toe tapping beat that was prevalent in that era's songs.
Lucky Jack (20-1) is a mild, sad song about a broken family. It deals with a dad who leaves the family then periodically comes back. Only to leave again to find something or someone better.
There is a great horn intro to Come To The Palisades! It is about a summer romance that has stayed with her after all this time. There are some great harmonies along with terrific horn and guitar backing Eddy's vocals.
Finest Actor is about someone who was enamored with a guy. Only to have him move on after a short time with seemingly no remorse. There is a tough, almost country blues guitar solo in the song.
NY Man has a nice, light, toe-tapping beat. She leaves him to go somewhere else. But it didn't work out and now she's trying to figure out if he'll want her back.
The album has a bonus track titled Pale Blue Moon. It is a beautiful song about a once in a lifetime love. It is a nice way to close the album.
There are times that I really enjoy an album I am reviewing. Been Around is one of those albums. Eddy have a great voice and the music is terrific. I can definitely hear the influences of Burt Bacharach and Carole King along with Chrissy Hynes in the songs on the album. Although I didn't know of A Girl Named Eddy before, I have become a fan of her music.
At this time, the album has not had a formal release. You can pre-order it from various sources, including amazon.com and the Elefant Records web site at https://elefant.com/
I'm not aware of an official web site for A Girl Named Eddy. But she does have a Facebook music page at https://www.facebook.com/AGirlCalledEddy
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© 2019 Bruce E Von Stiers