Trouble from the Start
'Lisa Moscatiello will inevitably remind some listeners of another Washington, DC-area singer, the late Eva Cassidy. Like Cassidy, she has a throaty voice that is both pure and sultry. She's equally comfortable with bluesy belters or aching torch songs, and she has an alluring ability to insinuate deep emotions without ever seeming to be showing off her vocal chops. But an even more important comparison is that, just like Cassidy, Moscatiello makes us believe every word she sings.' -- The Boston Globe 'Like a lot of contemporary singer-songwriters, Lisa Moscatiello draws on a wide variety of influences -- folk, pop, rock, R&B, jazz, even opera. But unlike many of her peers, she never sounds as if she's merely indulging a whim. 'Trouble From the Start' is yet another reminder of her impressive talent and range. Her voice is it's own reward, lithe and expressive, and her eclectic tastes keep things interesting as she moves from the sunny pop charmer 'Feel the Love' to the achingly homesick ballad 'Exile' to the sultry jazz gem 'You're Crying.' The cover tunes also include a welcome reprise of the Jerry Butler R&B hit 'Brand New Me,' a lovely, Italian-language rendering of Pino Donaggio's reverie 'Come Sinfonia,' and Bev Stanton's atmospheric rocker 'Ashtray.' As for Moscatiello's songwriting, the two tunes she composed here with Stanton find her casting melancholic spells, first with the album's title track, then with 'What Happens After Love?' She's doesn't accomplish this alone, of course. Accompanying Moscatiello on the album is a versatile cast of Washington-based musicians, including keyboardist Harry Appelman and drummer Robbie Magruder. Jon Nazdin's upright bass, Phil Mathieu's acoustic guitar and Fred Lieder's cello help sustain the intimacy, and several tracks benefit from electric guitarist Erik Wenberg's colorful contributions. Dedicated to Washington jazz vocalist Pam Bricker, who died in February, the album closes on a tender, Bricker-like note with Karl Straub's 'Now You're Back in Love Again.' -- The Washington Post 'Lisa Moscatiello has a nice deep sultry voice that works equally well in her darker, haunting songs as it does in her jazzier cabaret type tunes. The title song, 'Trouble From The Start' and 'Feel The Love' both remind me of the English band Everything But The Girl. 'Come Sinfonia' has lovely guitar work and a romantic feel. The last song, 'Now You're Back In Love Again' is a great torchy piano piece. These songs are really well written and interesting. Moscatiello has quite a vocal range. At times her voice is pretty low, alto-like. But then there are times when she hits some pretty high notes seemingly effortlessly. This is a pretty low-key record, but it's nice for relaxing and either having as background music or alternately, to pop on headphones and intently listen to the lyrics.' a review by Amy Lotsberg, Producer of Collected Sounds. -- Collected Sounds Women In Music 'This album by Takoma Park chanteuse Lisa Moscatiello was proclaimed the 2005 Album of the Year at the WAMMIE awards held in February. Moscatiello has taken many paths in her career. She got her start at 16, singing traditional Irish songs for DC-area Irish trio Ceoltoiri. Later, she moved on to British folk rock with The New St. George. More recently, she has explored both techno and Celtic fusion. But the listener who only knows her from 'Trouble from the Start' could easily conclude that she has spent the last 20 years in jazz clubs. Moscatiello projects the maturity of a woman who's known love gone wrong. 'You were trouble from the start,' she sighs in the title track, 'why'd I let you near my heart. You had all the warning signs, You said 'I'm not the faithful kind. You stole my heart, I lost my mind. What am I gonna do?' As she covers Steve Knightley's 'Exile,' Moscatiello sings, 'A thousand miles lie between us. ...Still, if I could cross a hundred borders, there's no going home.' Most of the songs on the album are well-chosen covers (though Moscatiello shares writing credits with frequent collaborator Bev Stanton for 'Trouble from the Start' and 'What Happens After Love'). The combination of songwriters gives the album depth as Moscatiello interprets the work of such diverse songwriters as jazz legend Quincy Jones ('You're Crying'), soul singer Jerry Butler ('Brand New Me') and Italian screen composer Pino Donaggio ('Come Sinfonia'--which Moscatiello delivers in impeccable Italian) Throughout the album, Moscatiello's viola-smooth voice reminds the listener of such jazz greats as Sarah Vaughan and Lena Horne. And a few tracks, like, 'You're Crying,' and 'Now You're Back in Love Again,' would not be out of place at the 1954 Newport Jazz Festival.' Other songs, like 'Trouble from the Start,' sound like they would be more at home at the 2006 Takoma Park Folk Festival (although the snatches of Al Cooper-style organ on 'Trouble from the Start' take the song to an even funkier place.) Still other songs, like 'Ashtryay,' could be delivered at a stadium rock show. Yet, Moscatiello pulls them all together into an album, the entirety of which would make a fantastic concert at Blues Alley. As with the songs she's chosen, Moscatiello draws from the best when it comes to the musicians with whom she collaborates on this album. Some of the locals include Harry Appelman (keyboards), Robbie Magruder (drums), Jon Nazdin (bass), Phil Mathieu (acoustic guitar) Erik Wenberg (electric guitar) and Fred Lieder (cello). If you're interested in supporting local artists, you could do no better than starting with this album' --Takoma Voice (MD)
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