Start It All Over Again
'Sally Dworsky is the angel of pop song, and if you wrote a great one, she's who you'd want to sing it. Every note, every word, simple and elegant and moving. It doesn't get better than this.'--Garrison Keillor 'It's a magician's trick--to embody songs the way she does.'--Joe Henry *Singer-songwriter Sally Dworsky has made a new record with her brother (the pianist and musical director for A Prairie Home Companion), Richard Dworsky. It is a naked collection, this one: interpretations of should-be-familiar songs by some of the last century's most deftly evocative musical reporters; all sent up with spare arrangements that cast big-screen emotion onto a stretched bed sheet--"The Best Years Of Our Lives" done with hand shadows. As a young girl growing up in Minnesota, Sally was immersed in music, falling asleep underneath the piano while her older brother Richard connected the dots between Chopin, folk, rock, and dime-a-dance show tunes. It proved to be a subliminal yet well-rounded education. As a grown person, she has been embedded in Los Angeles for years now, where she's fronted her own band, been a member of the band Uma, and survived recording dates and tours with the likes of R.E.M., Peter Gabriel, Don Henley, Jonatha Brooke and Peter himmelman, to name a few. Her singing voice can also be heard in leading roles for such animated films as "Shrek," "Prince of Egypt," and "The Lion King." When Sally returned to Minnesota a year and a half ago, during the last months of her mom's terminal illness, brother and sister found themselves with both the opportunity and motive to collaborate. Having led musically separate lives for years; Sally writing melancholy songs of love and lost direction, Rich pursuing a song craft that was almost hopelessly 'hopeful'--they began to explore songs together. First on the radio, when Sally was a guest on A Prairie Home Companion, then in a series of home recordings, the two found a common tone in songs they'd both grown up with or grown into. What began, then, as a personal document began to feel like something with broader possibilities; suggesting a record was there in skeletal form, wanting only for a few missing pieces and a decent suit of clothes to unite the pair's disparate sensibilities. So Sally and Rich turned to friends, and fleshed out the proceedings with contributions from pedal steel master Greg Leisz (who has played with everybody you'd care to know), cellist Tony Ross (of the Minnesota Orchestra), clarinetist Butch Thompson, and singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke. The album that resulted is 'Start It All Over Again'. It is vivid and visceral, spontaneous and fully realized. Garrison Keillor has said of Sally, " ...every note, every word, simple and elegant and moving. Sally is the angel of pop song, and if you wrote a great one, she is who you'd want to sing it." There are, in fact, great ones here: songs by Tom Waits, Loudon Wainwright, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Irving Berlin, among others. Songs that, as sung by Sally Dworsky, identify us to ourselves and to strangers. Songs of great emotion and unassuming character. Songs that simply and almost mysteriously...succeed. Songs that may well outlive all of us. .