Singer/songwriter Carolyn Arends titled her 20th anniversary retrospective CD Just Getting Started. If Arends is “just getting started” then I can hardly wait to see what the next 20 years of songs will bring.
Arends released her first album, the now out-of-print I Can Hear You, in 1995. Produced by the legendary Brown Bannister it featured “Seize the Day” and garnered the BC artist a Dove Award nomination. Since then she’s produced 11 CDs/albums (which includes 2 Christmas CDs, a parenthood project and a best-of collection).
Just Getting Started: An acoustic reflection on 20 years of music is an homage to both the music that has gone before and a tribute to the fans who have supported Arends for those two decades.
The CD is a fitting retrospective to one of Canada’s best singers/songwriters
The 12-song compilation starts with a new one: the title track “Just Getting Started.” As she has in the past, Arends demonstrates a deft turn of the phrase: “These are but tastes of the banquet before us/The music is great but just wait for the chorus/From delivery rooms to the dearly departed/Just getting started.”
The remaining 11 songs were selected by her fans. Some were songs Arends hadn’t performed for a while (“it was like meeting old friends and getting to know them again”). Others were perennial favourites, such as “Seize the Day” which was reinvented “on piano in a Billy Joel ‘Piano Man’ kind of direction” for the acoustic CD.
Arends’ songwriting forms the backbone of this CD. Adding meat to those bones are Spencer Capier’s intricate accompaniment on a variety of instruments including mandolin, violin and background vocals. Producer Roy Salmond fleshes out the production while also adding musical touches via, among other instruments, accordion, Wurlitzer, lap steel and percussion. The almost unnoticeable touches on background instrumental touches are one of the components that make this CD shine.
Some of my favourite cuts include “Happy,” “New Years Day” and “Father Thy Will be Done.” But each time I listen to the CD (and it’s been practically every day since it was released), I pick up something I like about the other tracks. I’m sure every song will become someone’s favourite.
Just Getting Started: An acoustic reflection on 20 years of music is a fitting retrospective to one of Canada’s best singers/songwriters. And the CD has me looking forward to Arend’s next 20 years of music.
Just Getting Started: An acoustic reflection on 20 years of music is available as a free download from http://20.carolynarends.com/
To listen to an interview where Carolyn Arends talks about this project, check http://artsconnection.ca/content/arts-connection-monday-september-21-2015-carolyn-arends-20th-anniversary-cd-renovare