How Sad, How Lovely

Connie Converse


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2009, Lau Derette, LLC

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Lau derette's inaugural release documents the work of Connie Converse, a truly unique songwriter who left behind a haunting body of music after her disappearance in 1974.

Around 1949, Elizabeth "Connie" Converse dropped out of Mt. Holyoke College and moved to New York City to make her way as a musician. Over the course of the next decade, she wrote and recorded a body of truly unique, plaintive, and haunting work. Some songs she recorded herself in her Greenwich Village apartment, others were recorded by friends enamored of her music, but almost none ever reached an audience wider than, as she once put it, "dozens of people all over the world." By the early 1960's, despondent over the limited commercial success of her music, she decided to leave New York for Ann Arbor where, in 1974, Connie wrote a series of goodbye letters to friends and family, packed up her Volkswagen and disappeared. She has not been heard from since.

At first listen, Connie's music seems to keep close company with the female folk artists who were her contemporaries. The knack for plaintive storytelling shares much with Peggy Seeger and Susan Reed. Reed knew Connie's music well, and performed a set of her songs in 1961 at the Kaufmann Concert Hall in New York. But Connie's music stands out from that of the American folk revival of the 1950's. Her fluid and disarmingly intelligent poetry reflects an urban perspective, that of a new New Yorker becoming disenchanted by the bucolic tropes of folk music. She is at once a maverick and a romantic, intellectual and spiritual, a staunch independent and a tender, pining lover.

How Sad, How Lovely marks the first full-length release of Connie's music.

Tracklisting

Disc 1
1 Talkin' Like You (Two Tall Mountains)
2 Johnny's Brother
3 Roving Woman
4 Down This Road
5 Clover Saloon
6 John Brady
7 We Lived Alone
8 Playboy of the Western World
9 Unknown (A Little Louder, Love)
10 One by One
11 Father Neptune
12 Man in the Sky
13 Empty Pocket Waltz
14 Honeybee
15 There Is a Vine
16 How Sad, How Lovely
17 Trouble


Customer Reviews

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1 reviews

christopher cole, Los Angeles, CA
I can't say enough good about this collection. As an obscure music hound, the story alone sucks you in... but when you find that every track is also amazing musically and lyrically, is both subversive and singable, is, as the review says, both an epitome of 50s female folk and a critique of it... well you feel you hold a treasure saved just inches from the abyss.

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