RONSTADT & ANN SAVOY
THE ZOZO SISTERS
ADIEU FALSE HEART
This teaming of Linda Ronstadt and Cajun folk traditionalist Ann Savoy, billing themselves as the Zozo Sisters, shows how wide is the musical range of bittersweetness. The harmonies and shared lead vocals offer a complementary contrast between Ronstadt's purity of tone and Savoy's more piquant expressiveness. The arrangements turn folk songs into art songs, drawing as much upon chamber strings as Cajun fiddle and accordion.
There's an exquisite beauty to the vocals, but the real surprise is how well the album holds together, given a range of material that extends from Cajun songs in French patois to stellar material from Julie Miller ("I Can't Get Over You," with husband Buddy Miller on guitar) and Richard Thompson ("King of Bohemia," "Burns' Supper") to a disarming revival of the Left Banke's 1960s hit "Walk Away Renee." Among other highlights, "Go Away from My Window" provides a showcase for the upper register of Ronstadt's soprano, and Savoy's lead vocals on Bill Monroe's "The One I Love Is Gone" bring out the blues in bluegrass. --Don McLeese