Lauren Hooker: All for you my heart and soul
2014: Musical Legends, LLC
Lauren Hooker on Vocals, Acoustic Piano,
Native American Flute and Drum
Paul Meyers on Acoustic Guitar
Dave Rimelis on Violin, Guitar
Mike Richmond on Acoustic Bass, Cello
Ted Brancato on Rhodes Piano
Vince Ector on Drums
Joe Cardello on Percussion
Jonathan Luks on Tap
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 31, 2015
This CD is a lovely selection of Lauren Hooker’s new compositions, plus a Native American flute and percussion piece, a Joni Mitchell folk song, and a cabaret piece by Artie Butler and Phyllis Molinary. Ms. Hooker brings a quintessentially eclectic array of musicians to this recording, adding a cellist and tap dancer. The liner notes are quite informative, with all the lyrics included, in case you like to sing or follow along. There’s a veritable, personal touch to Ms. Hooker’s noted descriptions of her thought process in the creation of lyrics, as well as musical intent. This is an album for home or travel, with uplifting melodies woven into each song. It should be noted that Paul Meyers, on acoustic guitar, and Ted Brancato, on Rhodes, contributed greatly to this album.
#2 – No More Blues Blues -- Composed by L. Hooker. Written like a combination of blue grass and swing, this track brings out tap dancer Jonathan Luks. Along with congas and drums, the rhythmic tap adds a percussive dimension that’s totally refreshing. Dave Rimelis on violin and Mike Richmond on bass, along with Vince Ector on drums and Joe Cardello on a variety of percussion, including cow bell, transport the listener to theater-worthy entertainment. Ms. Hooker’s vocals have a rich, resonant tone, on a wide scale. She also accompanies herself on piano. You’ll want to hear this track again.
#8 – Both Sides Now – Composed by Joni Mitchell. I had forgotten how much I always loved this song, and Ms. Hooker brought it to life anew. She plays acoustic piano and sings in a softer range here, a retro, breezy, folk style. Mr. Richmond plays bass and cello, with Mr. Rimelis on violin and Mr. Cardello on ride cymbal. Once you hear Ms. Hooker’s interpretation of this iconic song, it will play in your mind, with its memorable tune.
#9 – Shaman’s Call – Composed by R.C. Nakai and P.D. Kater. The multi-talented Lauren Hooker plays Native American wooden flute and drum, with no vocals, on this early Americana track. Ms. Hooker’s arrangements give the soulful, yearning flute spirituality, with undulating fluidity and soft, staccato drumbeats. This is a thoughtful addition to the album. . .
#10 – Just Carry Me – Composed by L. Hooker. With ocean waves in the background, this track brings summer to mind. Violin, cello, and bass add earthy string accompaniment to Ms. Hooker’s piano and vocals. Ms. Hooker’s ode to her late father, who was a violinist and conductor, is poignantly crafted and performed. The strings, especially cello, sear the very personal lyrics, "Are you here – here with me…”.