Rambles (Ireland) Review of “Exact Change”

Rambles (Ireland) Review of “Exact Change”

Jul 09

A Rambles CD Review
by Nicky Rossiter, Ireland

The world is certainly both contracting and exploding in unison. Exact Change, produced in Jerusalem, takes some very simple songs, often based on highly personal and mundane matters, and gives them an international dimension.

It has often been said of literature that local issues are the ones that best translate to an international audience. Sandy Cash proves that the same applies to songs.

“Nine Gold Medals” is a beautiful song telling a simple story based on a race at an athletics meeting. It is an uplifting tale of the reality of sport. Unfortunately, it only applies to that great event of the Special Olympics rather than sport in general. It has special significance as I listen today because this magnificent event takes place in Ireland in 2003.

Cash has a very distinctive voice and from the array of songs and writers on this CD she is open to all manner of influence. The track “Bye Bye Future” is a tragic-comic tale of childhood hopes and fears sung in a childlike voice that fits perfectly. The story-song motif continues at breakneck speed on “Orange Cocoa Cake.”

I was surprised to hear “Kilkelly” performed on a CD produced in Israel, but it was a genuinely pleasant surprise as Cash gives a heartfelt rendition of what must be one of the most comprehensive famine emigration songs of Ireland. At just under eight minutes, this is one of the epic songs of the genre but it holds the listener’s attention throughout.

The CD takes some of the most unexpected twists and turns. Who has ever recorded a folk song about a visit to the dentist? Cash does this with nice lyrics and some very witty asides — ouch that drill sound sets my teeth on edge — on “Root Canal of the Heart.”

She shows her songwriting ability on two tracks. My personal favourite is the title track, “Exact Change.”

This is a lovely collection of songs, which she freely divulges was culled from many sources including the Internet. She very kindly includes the websites of the writers whose songs she uses. This CD shows the universality of folk music as it provides contemporary American folk music, collected globally, recorded in Israel and reviewed in Ireland. Now you can enlarge the connection by getting hold of this CD and listening to a collection of gems.