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Between the Covers
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  • Personnel: Cris Williamson (vocals, piano, keyboards, background vocals); Tret Fure (vocals, guitar, banjo, dulcimer, harmonica, musette, keyboards, guitar synthesizer, background vocals); June Millington (guitar, frame drum, background vocals); Lynn Vidal (guitar, background vocals); Barbara Higbie (violin, background vocals); Muftiah Martin, Patricia Miner, Julie Eige, Phoebe Dong, Keith Herritt, Becky Ayer, Karen Zimmerman (strings); Libby McLaren (keyboards); Janelle Burdell, Leo Adamian, Machines (drums); Michaelle Goerlitz (percussion); Jean Millington, Gwen Avery, Teresa Trull, Megan McElroy (background vocals).
  • Recording information: Institute For The Musical Arts, Bodega, CA; Wolf Moon Records, Marcola, OR.
  • Photographer: Irene Young.
  • Unknown Contributor Roles: Dave Worm; Melanie Rath; Nicolas Bearde; Rhiannon.
  • As its erotically charged title suggests, Cris Williamson and Tret Fure's Between the Covers is a celebration of the love between two women in its emotional and physical manifestations. The two singer/songwriters mix things up and alternately take the lead (four songs are co-compositions with co-lead vocals, four are Williamson songs on which she sings lead, and six showcase Fure). Their primary subject is romantic devotion, often expressed in imagery evoking nature, animals, and the American West, though they also take up other matters, such as the death of Fure's mother ("New Year's") and a musical treatment of one of the poems from Edgar Lee Masters' The Spoon River Anthology ("Lucinda's Stone"). The music is melodic folk-rock, sometimes employing unusual rhythms, especially on three reggae-sounding tracks. Williamson's songs tend to be simpler, catchier, and more optimistic, particularly "Positive Solution" and "Brand New Lullaby," while Fure can be more introspective and fretful, often reaching for a poetic language to express more complicated emotions without quite capturing them. But she holds her own against her better known and more accessible partner, providing an effective contrast. Between the Covers is an uplifting collection of songs that describe the beneficial effects of a romantic pairing in a challenging world. ~ William Ruhlmann
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