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September 16, 2014
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Musical notes and quotes

“Cookin’,” a CD by Marc Switko


Seeking something a little lighter, I slipped Elizabeth Rose’s “Sleep Naked” (www.elizabethrosemusic.com) into the player and glanced at her extensive liner notes. Customary credits to her sound engineers, graphic designers and friends were mixed in with a nod to her pajamas, gospel churches and fellow singers who “graced this album” and their “sense of humor.” Singer/songwriter Michele Branch is quoted as saying, “I think it’s so cool that [someone] can pick up a guitar and create something that didn’t exist five minutes ago. You can write something that no one’s ever heard before.” While that’s certainly true of both Switko and Rose, it’s the latter, whose ability to pen clever, witty, wildly amusing and well crafted songs that made me want to live again. “Naked” is filled with variety. Rock, blues, jazz, country and soul are covered on this album, and (dare I say?) she does them all well. An accomplished musician, it’s Rose’s lyrics that shine for me, and while I have no knowledge of her influences, I was reminded of Noel Coward and Stephen Sondheim at times. It seems clear that Rose has had her fill of heartache and bad relationships, but unlike Switko’s gravely off-key lament, Elizabeth relies on an amusing turn of phrase and sharp-tongued sarcasm to carry her catchy tunes. The sweet title track is juxtaposed by a political statement in “Oil,” followed by the autobiographical “Deliver me.” Additional tracks, “Leave Me Alone,” and the hilarious “Whistle at Me,” all have one thing in common: storytelling. Rose is masterful at conveying her feelings and expressing her thoughts on a number of subjects. “Sleep Naked” gives the listener a chance to get to know this entertainer, and I found myself wanting more. Will she use my thoughts in her liner notes? I doubt it, but that’s OK. Elizabeth Rose doesn’t need my stamp of approval.

Interested in my humble opinion of your work? Send your CD’s and books to Jonathan Fox, C/O The River Reporter, 93 Erie Avenue, Narrowsburg, NY 12764. Maybe I can crush your dreams, too. Or, as Marc Switko so eloquently phrased it, “A crust of bread, a burning bed, I pray I can get it out of my head.”