Review: Alice Di Micele – Interpretations Vol 1


Alice Di Micele - Interpretations Vol. 1

Alice Di Micele – Interpretations Vol 1
Format: CD – Digital
Label: Alice Otter Music
Releasedatum: 16 februari 2024

Tekst: Fons Delemarre

Wat hebben Neil Young, Tom Petty, Jerry Garcia, Abbey Lincoln en Reverend Gary Davis gemeen? In ieder geval dat hun liedjes op het album ‘Interpretations Vol.1’ van Alice Di Micele te vinden zijn. Samen met songs van Christine McVie, Kate Wolf en Sting. Een tamelijk breed liedjespalet, dus. Micele legt bij ieder nummer zelf het hoe en waarom van het betreffende liedje. Die tekst staat aan het einde van mijn eigen tekst.

Opvallend is dat veel van de gekozen liedjes die ze covert, voor haar iets te maken hebben met dood (Give Yourself to Love van Kate Wolf), verlies (Death Don’t Have No Mercy, Rev. Gary Davis) én jeugdherinneringen (Sugaree, van Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter).

Micele heeft bij vrijwel alle nummers gekozen voor ingetogen arrangementen, die goed passen bij haar heldere stem. Persoonlijk vind ik dat ze op sommige nummers, bijv. op ‘Death Don’t Have No Mercy’ haar vibrato iets te veel de vrije loop laat. Niet nodig want daardoor komt de subtiliteit in het gedrang.  

Op een paar nummers staat een fraaie tweede stem en op Over My Head zingt een dameskoortje mee, dat zich kan meten met de stemmen van de dames die Leonard Cohen in zijn laatste jaren meenam als female backing vocals bij zijn liveshows.

Hieronder de info die Alice Di Micele heeft gegeven over de tracks op ‘Variations Vol.1’. 


01. Old Man (Neil Young)
Neil Young is a long-time inspiration and one of the reasons I started writing songs as a teenager. This song has been with me as long as I can remember. It’s always been a favorite around the campfire and it was the first song recorded for this collection of covers.

02. Give Yourself To Love (Kate Wolf)
This song is such a classic and I’ve been asked to sing it at so many weddings and memorials over the years and was honored to close the 2019 Kate Wolf Music Festival with my version. When a very dear friend passed away and I had a gig on the day of his memorial, I decided it was time to record it so it could be played at his service in my absence.

03. Death Don’t Have No Mercy (Rev. Gary Davis)
I first heard this song late at night sometime around 1981 or so while growing up in New Jersey listening to WFUV. The song struck me deeply and reminded me of the loss of my God Mother/ Great Aunt who had passed when I was 9. It is still the first song I lean on when experiencing loss and when my dear friend/ exmanager and Chico California concert producer Steve Schuman passed away suddenly, I decided it was time to record it.

04. Over My Head (Christine McVie)
I first heard this song on the radio as a kid and it was the first time I’d heard Christine sing. The song stuck with me and she has been a long-time inspiration with Fleetwood Mac. I really wanted to do a song to honor her passing, and had a lot of fun arranging this.

05. Square One (Tom Petty)
I’ve been enamored by Tom Petty’s songwriting for most of my life. Back in 2018 shortly after his passing my co-producer Bret Levick and I formed a tribute band called Petty Thievery. It has been really fun to rock out to his songs. I chose this mellower tune for my record because the first time I heard it I was driving home from tour with my drummer and I had to hit replay 6 or 7 times and went home and learned it. It really struck a chord in me.

06. Throw It Away (Abbey Lincoln)
I have opened many of my shows with this tune since the mid 90s a cappella. I’ve had a deep love of jazz and blues forever and Abbey is one of my biggest influences as a writer and a singer. Having my dear friend and musical comrade, jazz guitarist Mimi Fox accompany me on this is pure heaven.

07. Sugaree (Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter)
I started seeing Grateful Dead shows back in 1982 and I hitchhiked away from my High School Graduation with my guitar and a backpack to go on “Dead Tour.” This tune has always stayed with me and it was so fun to put my own twist on it.

08. The Hounds Of Winter (Gordon Sumner)
When my dog Blue passed away in 2005, this Sting tune was the only song I wanted to listen to for months. It seemed to express my deepest grief. In 2020, when my dog Roxy Ann crossed that Rainbow Bridge, the song came back to me. I asked guitarist Andy Casad to work on an arrangement with me and we recorded with bassist Rob Kohler after this trio had toured all summer. I absolutely love singing this one.

09. Harvest Moon (Neil Young)
I didn’t originally plan to have the album bookended by Neil Young songs but I just had to do this one. It’s one of my favorite love songs and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sing it with my band.