While her previous album included a healthy dose of standards, for her new CD Between The Music & The Moon, singer-songwriter Maggie Herron wanted to focus on original material. The results are 12 songs that range between Latin dance to bluesy romps and sultry ballads. Herron's songwriting skills are evident from the start and her deep, rich voice takes the listener on a musical journey.
On the opening number "Wolf," a slinky horn intro gives way to a smoky vocal from Herron with clever lyrics from her daughter Dawn (Who contributed to several tracks). Think "Fever" stylistically, though with more musical accompaniment. "I Can't Get To Sleep" is an ode to insomnia. Sung over an incessant, almost marching band drum pattern from Abe Lagrimas. Lagrimas pulls double duty on the song, delivering a Spanish-inspired solo on ukulele while Herron gives a tasteful piano solo of her own.
The Latin theme continues on "Seduction" and "Ritmo Latino." The former lives up to its name with a sultry vocal from Herron while the latter finds her shifting effortlessly between English and Spanish over a danceable rhythm and strong horns. Grant Geissman channels his inner Carlos Santana from a strong guitar solo on "Seduction."
For the title track, Herron gives a breathy vocal with angelic harmonies courtesy of Denise Donatelli. This pretty ballad showcases a subdued, yet effective flugelhorn solo from Ron Stout. The musicianship, both here and throughout, is top notch, with the players never getting in the way of the songs.
The breezy ballad "Notre Amour" finds Herron singing in French, giving a passionate vocal with pretty trumpet from Ron Stout. The album closes with "I Lie Just A Little." This bluesy track finds Herron accompanied by Dean Taba on bass, who delivers a killer bass line to back Herron's soulful vocals.
Between The Music & The Moon showcases Herron's considerable talents as a singer-songwriter. While the songs may all be new to listeners, the potent music and singing definitely makes this album worth a listen.