Tag Archives: Lenses Of Contact

Review: Live At The Mauch Chunk Opera House – Mary Fahl

Mary Fahl Live At The Mauch Chunk Opera HouseMary Fahl is, simply, a master of her craft. Possessing a unique voice that is as expressive as it is beautiful, she has been able to turn her music – and the music of others – into long-term standards that may never find the catastrophic melt of time to age them. After leaving October Project, she embarked on a solo career that began with the release of her four-song EP, Lenses Of Contact. Eventually, Sony Classical, with its off-shoot label, Odyssey Records, would release the ageless The Other Side Of Time, in 2003. With a brilliant selection of songs including two that would find their way onto movie soundtracks (“I’m Going Home” from Gods And Generals, “The Dawning Of The Day” from The Guys), The Other Side Of Time would be favorably reviewed as a classic of extraordinary songs.

With two more studio albums added to her catalog that includes the re-imagining of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon in From the Dark Side Of The Moon, and her most recent release, Love And Gravity, Mary Fahl has selectively advanced her career with exactly the music she connects most deeply with, songs that would also connect deeply with the listener. And what better way to communicate that connection than a live setting. And Mary Fahl is a master on her stage, wherever she chooses to re-paint her songs onto a unique canvas for the evening.

Newly released, her performances of her songs, including the performances of some tracks from her From The Dark Side Of The Moon make up the whole of the 2CD set, Mary Fahl – Live At The Mauch Chunk Opera House. Recorded from her September 7, 2013 show at the venue, the live set contains 22 beautiful songs from her studio sets. Mary Fahl is one who can transition effortlessly from a short biographical sketch of the origin of her song to the song itself.

There’s enough of her songs from all fronts. She draws liberally from The Other Side Of Time (the stunning “Ben Aindi Habibi”, “Going Home”, “The Station”, “Dream Of You”). She incorporates plenty from her newest album, Love And Gravity ( “Gravity (Move Mountains, Turn Rivers Around)”, “Siren”, “Both Sides Now”, “Exiles (The Wolves Of Midwinter)”, “Meant To Be”, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”, “Like Johnny Loved June”, “Dawning Of The Day”). She creates a medley from her daring and essential From The Dark Side Of The Moon with “Us And Them/Brain Damage/Eclipse”, and adds in a wealth of well-known October Project selections (“Return To Me”, “Deep As You Go”, “Falling Farther In”, “Bury My Lovely”, “Take Me As I Am”, “Be My Hero”). Mary also provides several additional pleasures with a small batch of meaningful songs not previously recorded.

What happens is a pleasant experience from start to finish. Mary Fahl is a storyteller. On this new live issue, she establishes that fact in numerous ways. If you’re a Mary Fahl fan, you need to add Live At The Mauch Chunk Opera House to the shelf along with her studio gems.

Let it be known, there is no comparing Mary Fahl’s voice. The reason is simple, there are none like it. Joni Mitchell has her uniqueness, Joni Joplin hers, as do a host of other classic female singers. As well, they cannot be compared.


Mary Fahl To Release Love And Gravity In February

MaryFahlLoveAndGravityThere has been several classic issues from Mary Fahl since her departure from the bewitching band, October Project.  Her contralto voice is a unique one, easily memorable.  What it brought to October Project, it lavished on her solo releases.  To date, Mary Fahl has released an EP of four songs, Lenses Of Contact (2000), and two full-length gems in The Other Side Of Time (2003), and the elusive but mesmerizing re-imagining of Pink Floyd’s timeless classic, The Dark Side Of The Moon , her version called From The Dark Side Of The Moon (2011).

Three of the four songs found on Lenses Of Contact found their way on the Sony Classical/Odyssey debut, The Other Side Of Time.  But the press and Fahl’s many fans took her new full-length album to heart christening it as one of the best releases of the year with its collection of stand-alone tracks.  One song from this album (“I’m Going Home”) was planted in the film, Gods And Generals (2003) to stunning effect. I was personally stunned by its beauty.  My 2003 review of the album was full of praise.  And it’s still an album that I continue to listen to ten years later indicating its long lasting effect on my own consciousness.

Many years later, From The Dark Side Of The Moon provided us a chilling re-styling of The Dark Side Of The Moon and its classic tracks.  That album was planned to be released by V2 Records, but the demise of that label shelved the album for a long time.  Eventually, Mary Fahl regained complete control and released the album, again to high praise.  It’s an album to hear.  With Fahl’s unique voice, the songs take on a mysterious life.

On February 11, Mary Fahl will release her latest album, Love And Gravity.  This album has been on the horizon for some time.  In fact, you have seen a previous announcement by me in these pages months ago.  But the wait is now over.

Love And Gravity contains ten new tracks that include “Exiles – The Wolves Of Midwinter”.  That song was written for the spoken set of Anne Rice’s latest novel, The Wolves Of Midwinter.  That’s right, Anne Rice is a huge fan of Mary Fahl, who calls Fahl’s voice “…supernatural”.  The album also contains a hypnotic cover of “Both Sides Now”, the classic Joni Mitchell song.

Mary Fahl is a powerful artist with a compelling voice, and an ability to write deep lyrics and craft timeless songs pf her own.  The depth and spread of The Other Side Of Time will not soon diminish despite its release some ten years ago. Each of the album’s fourteen tracks are unique triumphs all their own.  If you haven’t heard it, I highly suggest you remedy that now…today.

Unfortunately, these times are different musically.  Artists are not as honored for their music as they used to be.  I fully believe that if Mary Fahl had released her music back in the ’60s, and ’70s, her fame would be immense.