small potatoes

Walnut Valley Reviews

Small Potatoes "Time Flies"

WVA Program 97

Small Potatoes, Time Flies

(Folk Era Records FEl427CD, 13 selections)

If you're versatile, talented and eclectic, how do you get everything you do on a recording? This challenge was well met by Small Potatoes, consisting of Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso. Time Flies, this second offering of the creative Chicago duo, is rich in variety but lacks nothing in excellence of performance.

Beginning with Rich Prezioso's song, the title cut speaks of the universal dilemma of time's ravages, the large and small pressures of time, and "another year's gone by I can't replace."

The rich instrumentation, rhythms and vocal excellence make an extraordinarily listenable album. There's swing, "Talk a Little Texan to Me," and Jacquie's song "Big Ol’ Prairie Moon" complete with some impressive yodeling.

A snappy a capella "Boy Around the Corner" features some outstanding vocal harmony, matched only by the exquisite harmony of "Woodcutter's Song."

There are ballads sung in Rich's rich voice and guitar accompaniment, and even a little terror in "'Terror Time" hauntingly accompanied by Jacquie's flute, a little bodhran thrown in, Rich's outstanding guitar accompaniment, all describing the plight of homeless migratory workers.

And then there’s just pure silliness, as in "Avocado" with Jacquie's voice smiling through, even plugging their own CD.

The last cut, "I Will Pass This Way Again" is a tribute to the cyclical nature of friendship.

If this album is any indication, Small Potatoes will quickly make their mark as outstanding musicians/entertainers. But as what? Folk? Swing? Cowboy?-- well, you get the idea it'll be just whatever they feel like at the time. Their obvious talent will facilitate just about any direction. 

- WVA Program 97

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