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Deidre Rodman/Steve Swallow: Twin Falls

Twin Falls is the town in Idaho where Deidre Rodman was born, but she never lived there. Her adoptive parents moved her to Boise when she was a month old. Twin Falls is a “soundscape” of Rodman’s childhood, an imaginative journey homeward through music. Rodman wrote most of the 17 pieces and plays piano. She’s joined by Steve Swallow, who plays electric bass as fluid, luminous and articulate as any guitar.

Rodman’s Americana sources include folk and religious music. Mostly her compositions and improvisations (many very short, around a minute long) seek their truths in rapt, Zen like sparseness. By themselves they would not always be musically strong and unique enough to carry her meaning, but Swallow’s poignant, poetic lines are threaded around and through Rodman’s piano figures and always deepen them.

Twin Falls accumulates resonance as it proceeds because of the emotional authenticity of Rodman’s personal search. An arrangement of an austere Mormon hymn, “My Heavenly Father Loves Me,” prepares for “Away” and “Separate and Beautiful,” the final, lyrically pristine pieces that resolve the suite.

This album tells Rodman’s story. By the end, we not only understand it, we have shared it.

Originally Published