On the 17th of September 1996 a young woman, accompanied by a few dozen family and friends, attended her own tribute concert in a small club in the Washington, DC area. Transcending the effects of chemo-therapy and morphine in that moment, the singer abandoned her walker and was helped onto the stage for what would be her final performance, What a Wonderful World. A few weeks later Eva Cassidy passed away, having been diagnosed with melanoma months earlier.
Refusing to bend her music to the industry's conventions and expectations, Eva was known only within the DC area during her lifetime. She left behind one live album, a duet album, and various studio demos and live recordings. In these intervening 16 years, Eva's music has proven timeless and universal. Crossing all boundaries – musical, cultural, geographical – her voice survived and is finding new listeners every day in every corner of the earth.
Released on the eve of what would have been her 50th birthday these twenty performances document Eva Cassidy's musical legacy for the ages.
Ten years after she first topped the British charts you may think you've heard all there is to hear from Eva Cassidy. Think again. You may have heard most of these classic Eva songs before but, as sure as less is more, you have not experienced anything like this collection of previously unreleased Eva-only, guitar/vocal performances. It’s like hearing Eva Cassidy for the first time, again.
In addition to including Eva’s previously unreleased, re-defining version of San Francisco Bay Blues, Simply Eva is the first album to include the Blues Alley guitar/vocal performance of Over The Rainbow embodied in the Rainbow video that triggered Eva Cassidy’s rise to the top of the British Pop Charts in March, 2001. Recorded five years after the 1991 version heard on Songbird, Eva’s fully evolved Rainbow literally redefined this all-time number one popular song (according to a BBC radio poll).
The differences in the performances of the other songs range from folk versions of Wayfaring Stranger and Wade In The Water, to three extra verses in the included version of Paul Simon’s Kathy’s Song, to the more subtle nuances that grace every individual performance.
On a higher level, the overall experience of the first top to bottom Eva-only album transcends specific differences. My personal opinion that less is more in this instance is not meant as criticism of the supporting musical performances contained on previously released Eva Cassidy recordings. It was simply time to focus on the core of Eva Cassidy recordings, namely, the voice of “one of the greatest interpreters of popular song of the last 30 years” (Mojo magazine) and Eva’s superb guitar work which had been a bit lost in the shuffle of other instruments. In doing so, I literally heard Eva for the first time, again. That I was hearing mostly the same songs in a different way actually added to my sense of re-discovery.
The extent to which less is more is obviously an “ear of the beholder” question with answers as varied as listeners and listening circumstances. All musical background components, including Eva’s own sparkling background vocals, serve to draw-in listeners while to some degree splitting listener attention.
Presenting music is similar to the framing of paintings, or the setting of precious stones. The goal is to strike the proper balance between core and background. Eva Cassidy’s music attained broad international acceptance at the dawn of an age of unprecedented competition for the attention of a growing interactive audience. While the goal posts of perception are moving in time, the goal of finding the proper balance remains the same.
Eva Cassidy’s small, but magically productive body of work now serves as a beacon to a new generation of singers exploring the musical giants who have gone before, starting in many instances with Eva herself. For those who would study the music of Eva Cassidy, less is definitely more. For everyone else, whether less is more, or not, Simply Eva provides an opportunity to experience the unadorned music of Eva Cassidy and decide for yourself.
Eva's legend continues with Somewhere, a collection of previously unreleased songs, including two co-written by Eva. “Somewhere” was written with Chris Biondo, and “Early One Morning,” a traditional English folk song, was adapted and set to original music by Eva and Rob Cooper.
There are various sources of material, some newly discovered. Somewhere, perhaps the most diverse Eva album to date, constantly surprises, as Eva Cassidy once again takes us along on her unique musical journey.
A Gold Album in the U.S. and Quadruple Platinum in the U.K.
A specially-sequenced introduction to the music of Eva Cassidy, gathered from Live At Blues Alley, Eva By Heart and The Other Side (a duet album with Chuck Brown)
Songbird (Vinyl LP)
Available in 180 gram pure virgin vinyl analog LP, gatefold style jacket. Special order by toll free telephone.
The Songbird Companion
Release Date: July 27, 2004
Wonderful World is an anthology of some of the best-loved songs by Eva Cassidy.
Tracks: What A Wonderful World, Kathy's Song, Say Goodbye, Anniversary Song, How Can I Keep From Singing?, You Take My Breath Away, Drowning In the Sea Of Love, Penny To My Name, You've Changed, It Doesn't Matter Anymore, Waly Waly
Release date: August 12, 2003
All tracks previously unreleased!
Tracks: Drowning In The Sea Of Love, True Colors, The Water Is Wide, Hallelujah I Love Him So, God Bless The Child, Dark Eyed Molly, American Tune, It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Yesterday, You Take My Breath Away
Release date August 20, 2002
All tracks previously unreleased!
It Doesn't Matter Anymore, Fever, Who Knows Where the Time Goes, You've Changed, Imagine, Still Not Ready, Tennessee Waltz, Early Morning Rain, I Can Only Be Me, Danny Boy
Time After Time
Release date June 20, 2000
All tracks previously unreleased!
Tracks: Kathy's Song, Ain't No Sunshine, The Letter, At Last, Time After time, Penny To My Name, I Wandered By A Brookside, I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again, Easy Street Dream, Anniversary Song, Woodstock, Way Beyond The Blue
Live At Blues Alley
Recorded live at Blues Alley, Washington, D.C., Jan. 2, 1996. Four tracks (with an asterisk) are on Songbird.
Tracks: Cheek To Cheek, Stormy Monday, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Fine and Mellow, People Get Ready*, Blue Skies, Tall Trees In Georgia, Fields of Gold*, Autumn Leaves*, Honeysuckle Rose, Take Me To The River, What A Wonderful World, Oh Had I A Golden Thread
Eva By Heart
The tracks were recorded in the studio over a period of several years. This album was released posthumously by Eva's family. Five tracks (with an asterisk) are on Songbird..
Tracks: I Know You By Heart,* Time Is A Healer,* Wayfaring Stranger,* Wade In The Water,* Blues In The Night, Songbird,* Need Your Love So Bad (duet with Chuck Brown), Say Goodbye, Nightbird, Waly Waly, How Can I Keep From Singing?