A High Brow Affair
A High Brow Affair is the first recorded collaboration between singer, composer, songwriter and music educator Cynthia Dougherty and her nephew, 18-year-old vocalist David Holderbaum. Obviously influenced by Broadway and show tunes, the duo, often accompanied by pianist James Coffey, explore a variety of styles from the jazz leanings in the song of thanks “Two Little Words,” to the sax-driven rock of “It’s All You,” and the prosodic rhythm and rhyme of the whimsical and humorously countrified “The Nonsense Song.” Elsewhere, Dougherty echoes the melody and song structure of Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It” for her “Love is Love,” while “Invisible Me” is a bit more Husker Dü in its electric guitar aided tale of dualistic feelings. Both the shopping frenzy tune “December” and the baroque-esque title track employ full orchestration and classical elements, and the closing, piano led “Singing with You” is a nice song about not being embarrassed about singing. Cynthia Dougherty has a pleasant, trained voice that showcases her many musical influences. She often alternates songs with Holderbaum, who in contrast has a pleasantly untrained voice, that charmingly flaunts his youthfulness. Often funny, it’s an ambitious debut album; perhaps a nice signpost for more music to come.
Lahri Bond ©2020 Parents’ Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.