Originally created 07/27/06

Cajun beat on 'False Heart' rarely disturbs its sleepy-time quality



A good day for me is filled with music.

I fire up Napster in the morning and wake up to a mix that includes anything pleasant and active, stuff such as Arctic Monkey's The View From the Afternoon or Gnarls Barkley's Smiley Faces.

The commute in is for driving music, songs for my personal car karaoke - maybe Steely Dan's Dirty Work, or Oasis' Wonderwall.

The CD player on my work PC gets a regular workout, too, something that's affable enough to keep me awake but nothing that will intrude on the work, anything from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings to Robert Earl Keen's What I Really Mean.

Then comes end-of-day music, sounds for a peaceful sleep. That could be Dvorak, or Queen Latifah's The Dana Owens Album.

Adieu False Heart, a collaboration released this week by Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy, probably will fall into the sleepy-time playlist. It's sonorous and sublime, but it's musical Lunesta that makes me yawn as I write- think lullabys disguised as roots music with a heavy Cajun accent.

The pace is mostly slow and deliberate, a sparse, solemn interplay of Ms. Ronstadt's and Ms. Savoy's haunting vocals over an acoustic background of guitars, mandolins, banjos and fiddles, with an occasional dulcimer and the fiddle's uptown cousins, (violin and viola) added in for good measure.

Richard Thompson's brooding and introspective King of Bohemia is typical fare, starting with Ms. Ronstadt's thoughtful vocals backed with an acoustic guitar, then filling out the sound with a full string section.

The musicians do get downright feisty on Plus Tu Tournes. It has a hypnotic Cajun fiddle and guitar interplay that would almost have you dancing if you weren't already nodding off.

Not to worry: It's quickly countered with a dose of drowsy melancholy, Go Away From My Window.

From there, the pace continues to slow, ending with a majestic dirge of heartbreak, the Left Bank's Walk Away Renee, which is rendered slower and sadder as it's stripped to its essence of strings and harmony.

Just don't ponder the sad lyrics of love lost and longing and you won't end up weeping into your pillow while you sleep.


THE CD:Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy, Adieu False Heart


THE VERDICT: Sleepy but sublime


HEAR IT: Listen to hear part of the song Walk Away Renee. [MP3 format]