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Songbird by Eva Cassidy

Updated on November 26, 2014

The album Songbird, by Eva Cassidy, shows a voice of beauty and extraordinary clarity on a wide range of songs. From the title track, a Fleetwood Mac song, through to Wade In The Water (a Negro Spiritual) , Eva took songs and sang them with a purity that astonishes and delights. The fact that she's often thought to have originated songs by people like Chrissie McVie and Sting shows how good she was.

"Took songs" I say, for she died at an early age and her success came posthumously. Songbird was released a year after her death and went viral in US and UK. A radio play of Fields Of Gold caused switchboards to be jammed, three posthumous UK number 1 albums ensued and her (sadly few) albums sell well to this day.

Eva Cassidy didn't do pop but she could sing just about anything. Bill Straw, boss of Blix Street Records, said "technically she was one of the best singers I’d ever heard, To be able to combine that technical skill with her extraordinary emotional range and depth was without precedent."

I have every recording of hers I can get my hands on and I never tire of listening to them. People hearing her music for the first time tend to stop, stand still and listen entranced. She is that good.

Songbird itself is a compilation of songs from three other albums and is a fantastic introduction to Eva Cassidy if you don't already know her music. Tracks include:


Songbird: From Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. It must have taken a lot of nerve to cover a song from one of the bestselling albums of all time - Eva Cassidy delivers one of the great versions, better even that writer Christine McVie's.

Autumn Leaves: Version of an old French song, simply but emotionally sung against a gentle jazz piano.

People Get Ready: The Curtis Mayfield song. Power and purity in a simple delivery.

Fields Of Gold: Sting's song from Ten Summoner's Tales. You may never listen to his original again. Sting himself thought it was wonderful: "this version was just so pure, so excellent, that I was deeply moved by it, and so happy that she covered it. Eva's is one of the best versions of my song I've ever heard."


There are six more tracks on Songbird. I'll leave you to the pleasure of discovering them for yourself.

Live At Blues Alley
Live At Blues Alley

An amazing live set. Folk, blues, jazz, she sings everything and blows away the audience.

 

Some Great Video Clips

Songbird, the title track. Compare Eva's version with the next clip by the songwriter Chrissie McVie. Then there's the sumptuous Sting song, Fields Of Gold. Finally, the live Blues Alley set: 45 minutes of delight.

Title track from the Songbird album, as performed by Fleetwood Mac

Just to show Eva's range, a great version of Buddy Holly's song.

And Sting's Fields Of Gold

Eva Cassidy Perfoming

Are you familiar with Eva Cassidy's work?

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    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      I'd never heard of Eve Cassidy. She has a beautiful voice. I really like her version of the Buddy Holly song that you've posted.

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 3 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      Thank you, Paul, for this beautiful introduction.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 3 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      She was an amazing singer and her singing never fails to move me. Even though she died tragically young, at least some of her work lives on.

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 3 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      I love this album and play it over and over again.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      i hadn't heard of her. What a wonderful voice. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    • profile image

      marsha32 4 years ago

      oh! I like the thought of reviewing music. You did a great job!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      Very sad that she died so young.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      Just hearing about Eva Cassidy I believe for the first time! She's attractive too!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Beautiful tribute page.

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 4 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      I've heard a few of Eva Cassidy's tracks and this collection is a fantastic legacy to her talent...

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      I'd not heard Eva Cassidy before, and must thank you for the introduction - she really is (was) a remarkable talent.

    • profile image

      cmadden 4 years ago

      Yes, hers was a beautiful voice.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 4 years ago from Vermont

      Thank you so much Paul for introducing me to Eva Cassidy and her golden voice. Such a great loss to know she is not with us to continue sharing this wonderful talent. #music #songbird

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 4 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      I really am, Songbird was the first album I bought and still play it over and over. thanks for reminding me.

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 4 years ago from London

      What magic. The way she inhabits each song reminds me of Sandy Denny; another marvelous singer sadly lost too soon.

    • LeopoldBlatt profile image

      LeopoldBlatt 4 years ago

      A great lady. Nice article!

    • Paul Ward profile image
      Author

      Paul 4 years ago from Liverpool, England

      @FanfrelucheHubs: Excellent - I love it when people discover someone as good as her.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 4 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Punch me, but i have never heard about her....Eva Cassidy is all new to me. Love her voice

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 4 years ago from Scotland

      Yes, she was a wonderful woman with a beautiful voice