FAME Review of “Exact Change”

FAME Review of “Exact Change”

Jul 09

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange (FAME)
by Roberta B. Schwartz

All of us have had moments, and sometimes even days, when we question “does life have to be so tough?” It is at these times that we look toward music to lift us out of these moods; to take us far away from these dark and dispirited feelings.

I wish I had Sandy Cash’s CD Exact Change at hand every time a dark cloud crossed my sky. It is fun, playful, witty and wise. And it comes from out of the land of Israel, proving that acoustic music is alive all over the world.

Sandy Cash has one of those voices that is hard to describe as it dips into the alto range, yet reaches up in to the higher ranges with ease. She has a lovely, expressive voice with a great deal of warmth and color. She sings as if the audience is full of family and friends – as if she knows us well.

On her recording Exact Change, Cash sings nine covers and two of her own compositions. Her themes are down to earth, revolving around family, children and the foibles of everyday life.

The opening track, Nine Gold Medals, is a delightful tribute to the Special Olympics, written by David Roth. It tells the story of how one of the young athletes stumbles and falls in a running event, and how the eight other runners stop to help him, join hands and finish together.

Pirates Bounty is a lullabye penned by Cash. Beautifully performed with voice and accompanying guitar, it is simple and lovely. There are many nice metaphors here about life and how your children often surpass your own accomplishments.

One of the standout tunes is a cover of You’re Aging Well that would make Dar Williams proud.

My favorite cut is Kilkelly, by Peter Jones. It tells the story of an Irish family’s hardships in a series of letters beginning in the year Eighteen-sixty. The vocal is very sad and moving, made particularly so by Cash’s accompaniment on the English concertina. It is almost eight minutes in length, but well worth listening to through the last note. It is the highlight of the recording.

Cash also covers humorous songs by Camille West and Cosy Sheridan, as well as Lou and Peter Berryman.

Sandy Cash has produced a recording well worth seeking out. Acoustic music is live and well in Israel in the hands of Cash. The world of music is certainly a far happier and funnier place with Sandy Cash in it.

Copyright 2000, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.