"In the world of what we affectionately call Folk Music, I've sometimes thought "we need more song interpreters and maybe fewer writers".
Since the advent of the singer/songwriter there are so many new songs constantly coming at us and apart from the truly great and the traditional, a lot of terrific songs never get shared or really appreciated as it seems most folk musicians are pre-occupied with doing only their own material.
Mara Levine was an unknown entity to me until this, her third release, fell into my hands courtesy of our esteemed editor Mr. Campbell. Doing some research it seems she is New Jersey based and is known as a jewelry designer, and according to the header on her website an "interpreter of fine and contemporary folk songs"
This collection of 13 "fine and contemporary " folk songs from the likes of Paul Simon, Tommy Sands, Gordon Lightfoot, Bill Staines and Si Kahn is delivered most admirably. Ms. Levine has a wonderful voice which she uses with heart and aplomb, delivering excellent renditions of her extremely well-chosen songs, some well known, some not so much. She takes few liberties or flights of fancy, delivering very straightforward, respectful and comfortable of folk renditions of such songs as "Bitter Green" and "A song For the Asking" Her version of Christine Lavin's "The Moment Slipped Away" is as fine a song as I have ever heard and have now experienced it thanks to Ms. Levine's fine choices on her excellent playlist called Facets of Folk. The world needs more such interpreters of fine and contemporary folk songs.
- Les Siemieniuk, Penguin Eggs