Ice at Home
From The Missoulian - 6/14/07 'From the Harry Nilsson-esque "Steam Locomotive" to the Chuck Berry chug of "Perfect Girl," these 13 original songs are presented in an unvarnished, warts-and-all style that highlights the harmonies and varied picking styles. But it's Hirshberg's raw, nasally bray that ties it all together. He's no crooner, but then, neither are John Prine or Bob Dylan, right? The near lack of reverb or processing on his voice gives it a vulnerable, yet unapologetic quality. This refusal to sand down the rough edges or ingratiate himself to the listener also comes through in some of the lyrics, such as on "The Rider" when he sings, "She tries hard to make her own luck / Baby needs someone who (exhibits a level of interest)." Another standout track is "Calendar Blues," a hillbilly vaudeville polka that hilariously recounts a marriage gone bad from the first date all the way to "that day in court (when) I told the judge 'I don't.' " At just over two minutes, it's the shortest song on the album, but also the most fun. Hmm. Larry, let me give you my analyst's number. The best song on the CD is "209.1 FM." Inspired, no doubt, by Larry's long-running DJ gig at KBGA, this sad little waltz hangs on the framework of Sporman's gloomy bass notes like tattered laundry in the backyard of a shack under the airport's flight line. The melancholy, late-night feel of the music perfectly supports Hirshberg's duet with himself, as he sings of "wide awake disjointed beats." Obtuse writing is Hirshberg's specialty, and he seems loath to spell out anything too clearly for the listener. Still, when the music's this good, I don't care if he's singing about a recipe for potato latkes - I'm dancing, baby.' 'Larry Hirshberg tells supple stories in the limited spaces allotted by songs just a few minutes long. While not every line drips with the promise of platinum sales, his solo acoustic effort Ice at Home features some genuine gems. The title track scores with wordplay centered on an engagement ring left behind. The chorus begins "His baby left the ice at home / Maybe the boys will think she's all alone"-just enough information to put an image in listeners' heads and enough indirection to make it interesting, all laid out to a memorable melody. The song stays on the folksy side of an album that blends in considerable blues such as the saloon-style "Calendar Blues," an uplifting tune about the rhetoric and reality of love. Hirshberg's skill with the guitar is considerable...' Missoula Independent - 4/5/07.