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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Julie Foldesi Brings It On Home

Raleigh native Julie Foldesi moved to New York to pursue dreams of performing on Broadway, but her debut CD release, "This Part of Town" definitely brings it on home with a self-described "funky bluegrass or bluesy bluegrass" feel. A couple of weeks ago she celebrated her release at The Pour House along with The Balsa Gliders.

The album is the culmination of about 5 years of songwriting efforts along with collaboration from bluegrass musician/arranger/producer Dick Neal. One thing that stands out is Neal's stellar production quality throughout.

Lyrically, the songs are mainly autobiographical, with Julie musing on relationships, her Tarheel roots, the state of the world and our government, and the music business. I can hear some vocal qualities of Jewel, The Dixie Chicks, and maybe even a touch of KD Lang on the melancholy "Should I Leave".

The band backing Foldesi on "This Part of Town" turns in a solid performance, with a wide assortment of instruments including: guitar, drums/percussion, piano, bass, cello, violin, viola, dobro, mandolin, fiddle, harp, and tambourine, packing a full-band punch to the tracks. The album has taken a big step forward from the earlier pieces featured on her MySpace. Hopefully the city life will continue to bring new and exciting ideas to fruition in Julie's work. This is a good first release, though not in my typical listening fare (you know, I dig the songs that make pets hide and small children cry). Hopefully we'll get to hear much more from her in the future. Maybe if she hangs around New York long enough she'll do something really strange! Come on Julie, you know you wanna.

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