Back in the 40’s, there wasn’t that many female folk singers. Connie Converse was one of the great musicians that preceded Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. And when we listen to her music 70 years after it was recorded, it is surprising how actual it sounds.

Recorded in a lo-fi fashion in what seems to be an empty room with a single mic, the 18 songs on “How Sad How Lovely” are charming, as one can appreciate her soul coming directly out of her beautiful voice and into the recorder. Songs like Johnny’s Brother or Roving Woman could have been sung as is by singers like Cat Power or Feist, without sounding like such ancient songs.

Yes, there are also many songs that are written in an older fashion, mentioning cattle, cats and dogs living around the farm, but even then, one can appreciate how she describes every life, every day drama.

In 1974, at age 50, frustrated by her lack of success although she had a lot of talent and worked hard for 30 years to pursue a music career, she took off in her car and was never seen again. Researcher Andrea McEneaney was trying to bring together a documentary of her mysterious life, with the help of some members of her family. The film was presented in world premiere at the Sensoria Film & Music Festival in Sheffield, England at the beginning of October 2014.

This new re-edition of this album will probably bring back Connie Converse’s story back in the news.

CONNIE CONVERSE
How Sad How Lovely
(Squirrel Thing Records, 2009 re-issued in 2015)

-Genre: traditional folk
-In the same style as early Bob Dylan, Joan Baez

Follow the artist via her Facebook page
Follow the documentary team, via their Facebook page

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur-en-chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie “Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique” en 2013, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016.