Audrey Auld-Mezera and Nina Gerber
performed to a sold-out show at Studio E, Sebastopol, California
in December '05. The concert was so fabulous they decided
to release the recording of the show.
"The chemistry between the two women was electrifying. Nina
played a variety of acoustic and electric styles, stretching out,
even for her, complementing every nuance in Audrey's songs. Coupled
with Audrey's fabulous songwriting, glowing smiles, gorgeous voice
and giggles, the night was nothing short of magical. I suspect
you'll be able to hear Audrey's smiles and Nina's voice in her
Includes previously unreleased tracks and a guest appearance from Nina's brother, Scott Gerber.
"Like Timbuktu or Kingdom Come, Tasmania usually exists in people's imaginations at the absolute end of the earth. If something is from Tasmania, so says the unquestioned opinion, then it must be from out of this world. Undermining this notion is Audrey Auld Mezera, a child of Tasmania who writes and sings songs with a worldly truth. She not only sounds like she grew up on Music Row in Nashville, but she writes the kinds of songs that built Music Row in the first place. .... it was only a matter of time before she crossed paths with one of the greatest accompanists in the world, Nina Gerber. ...upon hearing the recording, the two realized they had something special, and indeed, the resulting double live CD is a document of pure fluidity. Among a few well-chosen cover songs Mezera's own song shine. Among her best are "I'd Leave Me Too", a concise picture of the truly crestfallen self, and "Losing Faith", a winless double battle which pits faith in men against faith in the Bible.
There's a charming, tongue-in-cheek nature to the playfully vaulted 'tween song barbs, ....
Second to her songwriting is her expressionistic phrasing, something that Lucinda Williams and Patty Griffin share. When she sings that "you'd leave me stra-a-nded", it fees as if her entire body were supported by tiny twigs, each slowly starting to crack. When this delicacy is augmented by Gerber's sprawling atmosphere of arpeggios, absolute chemistry is at play.
Singer/songwriter Audrey Auld Mezera, now living in northern California, is Australian. After listening to the CDs I felt there was a certain irony in the fact that, as an Australian, I really knew more about her American collaborator in this musical venture. I was familiar with Nina Gerbers superb guitar and mandolin playing on the late Kate Wolfs recordings and more recently on Greg Browns collection of live performances from Kate Wolf Music Festivals. I had heard a couple of Audreys songs during a radio interview a number of years ago and that was unfortunately the sum total of my acquaintance with her music. I say unfortunately because after listening to this concert recording, I now realise what I have been missing.
This double CD concert recording showcases the songwriting talents of Audrey Auld Mezera. She has a definite flair when it comes to the self deprecating song about lifes low points (eg Id Leave Me Too and Drinking Problem). Her humour and positive take on such subjects is refreshingly engaging. Losing Faith (which recently won her a songwriting award) is a strong, confronting song, full of biblical imagery. Two standout songs for me are her beautifully moving love song Love You Like The Earth, with its very memorable melody, and Half A World Away, which is about homesickness. There are some fine interpretations of other songwriters works including songs by Patty Griffin, Mary Gauthier and Fred Eaglesmith.
Gerbers wonderful, sensitive guitar playing is further highlighted by the inclusion of three instrumentals, including a beautiful interpretation of John Lennons Imagine. Her ability on both acoustic and electric guitar and her proficiency in a variety of guitar styles enhance the listening experience. During the concert we are informed that this is Audrey and Ninas second public performance together. Ninas seeming familiarity with Audreys songs and the enrichment her thoughtful playing brings to them are quite amazing.
There is just enough appropriate dialogue between songs and Audrey
Auld Mezeras infectious giggle delightfully peppers her
passionate, assured and engaging vocal performance. This is a
refreshingly honest recording, with both performers firing off
each other to reach those magical heights which live performances
can sometimes attain. Thoroughly recommended listening."