Once in a Lifetime
Peeky Toe Music is proud to announce the release of Once In A Lifetime, the debut recording by the extraordinary singer/songwriter Renée Snyder. Devoted to music since she began playing the piano at five years old, Renée has worked extensively on the New York studio scene alongside so many excellent musicians, including Barry Miles, Shawn Pelton, Mark Egan, Kevin Bents and her husband, guitarist/composer Craig Snyder. Together, these fine artists provide the core support for Renée on this highly compelling and truly exquisite recording. Each of the eleven captivating original songs on Once In A Lifetime is like a precious gem - honed, shaped and placed by a master jeweler in a setting that allows each one to shine on it's own while contributing to the overall beauty of the piece. Blessed with an incredibly beautiful voice, it's purity and warmth calls to mind one of Renée's primary influences, the legendary Joan Baez. And further like Baez, Renée's songs are soulful, intelligent and extremely personal, expressing sentiments that reflect her own experiences, but will resonate with everyone. The exceptional arrangements - nine by Craig (two co-arranged with Barry Miles) and the other two by Kevin Bents - are quite tasteful and sensitive, never overpowering and always enhancing, like a fine couturier designing gowns for a beautiful woman. Brilliant little touches featuring outstanding guest musicians add a special magic -- Kenny Kosek's haunting violin on the plaintive title track; Jeanne LeBlanc's cello on the beautiful love song When I Sing My Song; Eric Weisberg's pedal steel guitar on the powerfully moving album closer Home Is In Your Arms; and Rob Paparozzi's harmonica on the evocative When Will We Learn. The occasional and subtle use of background vocals and overdubs further enhances the music in a most appropriate manner. Throughout the album the superb musicianship provides the perfect setting for Renée's delightful voice, embracing it lovingly to present it in it's pure and vivid essence. Renée's abundant songwriting talent displays enormous insight and remarkable perception, while covering a wide range of moods and emotions, from jazzy and rhythmic to deeply sensual and reflective. There's a Difference opens the album with deliciously grooved, infectious rhythms and a nicely syncopated vocal. In a similar vein, Always is somewhat modal, providing a perfect setting for Renée's sinuous, snake-like approach. Without You In My Life is a country-ish love song that displays Renée's range with Craig's guitar contributing to the stylistic setting with pedal steel effects. Carry On, a nicely rhythmic, folk-like song is a celebratory, uplifting and hopeful exaltation. The two Kevin Bents-arranged songs are both quite sensual and lovely. Dreams - with Bents playing all instruments and joining Renée on background vocals - is appropriately dreamy, with a bolero-ish rhythmic structure that builds with gentle intensity to it's conclusion. Learning To Love is a full-bodied ballad with nicely suspended rhythms providing the canvas for it's beautifully etched lyricism. One track in particular epitomizes Renée's musical and emotional sensibilities. You Begin Again, with solo piano accompaniment by Barry Miles, is a powerfully affecting and highly expressive ballad, exquisitely crafted and deeply emotional. Dedicated to her mother, a holocaust survivor, it's a heart-wrenching song of hope and rebirth. Understanding this aspect of her heritage provides an insight into the personal nature of this most special artist. With perceptive and profound lyrics, beautiful melodies and incredible artistry, Once In A Lifetime is a powerful and dynamic debut for a truly extraordinary singer and songwriter.