late Eva Marie Cassidy leaves
a heritage of musical genius behind
her and her album Somewhere with
twelve previously unreleased songs
EVA CASSIDY'S SINGING sends shivers down your spine. She sings so
casually that you could almost be getting a private performance she was
a musical genius whose blend of blues, country, folk and sparkling jazz was
enhanced by gospel and classic pop and is perfectly captured on the astonishing
Having found a malignant lump, Eva discovered the melanoma had spread to her
bones and to her lungs and she sadly died in 1996 at the age of just 33. Her
final public performance was not long before she died, at The Bayou nightclub
in Georgetown, Washington DC, where she closed with What A Wonderful World.
The club, incidentally, closed two years later.
Eva's seminal album, Songbird, was released ten years ago and the legend
continues with the release of Somewhere, a collection of twelve previously
unreleased songs that bear testament to her diverse talents. That these songs
have surfaced is thanks to many of those close to Eva including her brother
Dan, her school-friend Rob Cooper and her guitarist Keith Grimes.
Keith found a box of Eva's recordings in 2003 that had been packed away and
forgotten, unnoticed for many years. They formed the backbone of Eva's UK Number
One album American Tune. The poignant and melodic Coat Of Many Colours,
terrifically-constructed Won't Be Long and breathtaking Walkin' After
Midnight were all recorded in 1993 and appear on Somewhere in their
original form. We loved the haunting A Bold Young Farmer.
Early One Morning is one of the two songs on the album that were co-written
by Eva. Based on the traditional English folk song, it was recorded in April
1987 in Rob Cooper's home studio in Maryland and Eva's family were unaware of
this cleverly-updated song's existence until early this year (2008). The second
song the superb title track Somewhere was written in 1990
with Chris Biondo. It was unfinished until a few months ago when Chris, with
"considerable" help from former Eva band mates Lenny Williams and Raice McLeod,
finished the recording in the style in which it was originally conceived.
Eva often played If I Give My Heart at her solo performances and the
version here features Eva's brother Dan on fiddle. It was recorded by the siblings
in Iceland. On hearing these new songs, Barbara Cassidy says: "It is very painful
to listen to some of the songs, but it gives me joy that Eva's music is still
giving so much pleasure to so many people". The inspired magnificence of Eva
Cassidy's talent on Somewhere is encapsulated in the demanding My
Love Is Like A Red Red Rose and all-time favourite Summertime that
resonate in true Folk style as an echo of the lady's presence.
The vocals on Ain't Doing Too Bad and Chain Of Fools were recorded
live at Blues Alley on the same evening as the celebrated 1996 album. Chris
Biondo commissioned horn arrangements from Leigh Pilzer for both songs and,
in the case of the nostalgic and shimmery Ain't Doing Too Bad, enlisted
the help of Lenny, Keith and Raice to adapt their parts in a studio setting
the result being what is arguably the musical high point of the album.
In addition to the new horn arrangements and the background vocal talents of
Leonie and Amba Tremain, London producer Steve Lima provides a different take
on Eva's version of the classic Chain Of Fools.
Somewhere, perhaps her most diverse album ever, constantly surprises
and enchants as Eva Cassidy once again takes us on the golden path of her unique
Cassidy's UK album Somewhere (twelve previously unreleased songs) was
released on 25 August (2008) on Blix Street Records.
1 Coat Of Many Colours | 2 My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose | 3
Ain't Doin' Too Bad |
4 Chain Of Fools | 5 Won't Be Long | 6 Walkin' After Midnight
| 7 Early One Morning |
8 A Bold Young Farmer | 9 If I Give My Heart | 10 Blue Eyes
Crying In The Rain |
11 Summertime | 12 Somewhere
"It was clear that fans of Eva's music wanted a new album; but it was important
to us that any new record was made up of songs that had not been heard before
and that were of a high quality. We are really pleased with the album; it is
long overdue" Eva's father, Hugh Cassidy
"Eva Cassidy's singing sends shivers down your spine. She sings so casually
that you could almost be getting a private performance from a musical
genius whose blend of blues, country, folk and sparkling jazz was enhanced by
gospel and classic pop and is perfectly captured on the astonishing Somewhere