All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Review: Mary Ann Rossoni - Timber & Nails

Mary Ann Rossoni - Timber & Nails
2008, MWM Records

Mary Ann Rossoni is Providence, Rhode Island's resident Renaissance woman. The designer, painter and musician has her hand in many pots and seems to make things bloom wherever she touches. After a five year break in recording, Rossoni returns with Timber & Nails, a highly introspective and personal collection of songs that are thoughtful and sleep, even sometimes witty. Rossoni has grown as a songwriter in the last five years, providing great depth and breadth to the material, along with the a good instinct on how deep to dive with each subject.

Mary Ann Rossoni mixes wit, consummate story-telling skills and a fine sense of melody on Timber & Nails. Pop the disc in. Fourteen songs later you'll feel like you've just had a Musical Experience. Rossoni brings a heartfelt honesty and warmth that many singer/songwriters wish they could convey on stage, much less on the relatively cool medium of the CD. Mary Ann Rossoni delivers her songs with the same sort of insular warmth as Dar Williams. Starting with the title track, Timber & Nails, Rossoni calls into question her own existence and beliefs with a cutting yet elegant honesty. How does a home become just a house, she seems to ask. The song is sweet and touching and way more than the sum of its parts.

Red Shores Of France smacks of reminiscence by an old relative and the desire and inspiration that is sparked in a younger member of the family from the relating of old stories. EmmaLee displays the "grass is always greener" effect of our life experiences, and highlights the tendency at times to overstate the abilities and gifts of others while failing to see our own. Be sure to check out Wondrous Impression as well. This is an amazing tune. I feel like I can't say enough about it and yet I can't find the words to properly convey its beauty. You just need to listen.
That said, my favorite song on the CD is Follow The River. It's a country tune with a Celtic heartbeat. The melody here will follow you for days after you've heard the song, and the positive message is both hopeful and full of a passive regret for not finding the truth sooner. Other highlights include To The Sky, Other Woman, the ironic and witty Everything Needs Fixin' and Soft As Sorrow.

Mary Ann Rossoni is a singular talent. She has a warm, rich voice that's an absolute pleasure to listen to. She writes intelligent, honest and sometimes funny lyrics and wraps them in gorgeous arrangements. Most of all she projects a warmth and personal reality that comforts the listener and urges you to let your guard down and really listen. Again, this is on CD. If this effect is at all more tangible in concert then her shows could literally be life changing experiences. Timber & Nails is a watershed musical experience, the coming together of musical and lyrical talent, a distinctive and honest performing style, and the maturity and grace to tie them all together into one dynamic, quietly earth shattering package. Timber & Nails is a Wildy's World Certified Desert Island Disc. Put it on your holiday list. Someone you know deserves this CD.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Mary Ann Rossoni and order a copy of Timber & Nails through You can purchase a copy of Timber & Nails at

No comments: