ROOTS MUSIC REPORT
by Joe Ross
Deborah Silver, Glitter & Grits
Armed with a band of master musicians and a jazzy repertoire that’s withstood the test of time, versatile vocalist Deborah Silver delivers an infectious, exhilarating, danceable set of Western Swing music. Classics like “I Got Rhythm,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” are often covered by big bands and vocalists, but Silver gives them an uplifting, joyous make-over emphasizing a distinctively Texas groove. With the help of producer Ray Benson and musicians from his 10-time Grammy winning band, Asleep at the Wheel, Glitter & Grits is a snappy album full of bright, breezy tracks flavored with pedal steel, piano, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, sax, clarinet and more. Silver is equally comfortable with an alluring ballad like the Gershwins’ “Embraceable You,” as she is with explosive hits from Dixieland, the 1940s silver screen, Broadway and Tin Pan Alley. The album’s theme might best be captured in Silver’s renditions of Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler’s “Get Happy” and Arlen and Mercer’s “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive.” These are quite simply sparkling songs, with uplifting messages, that are much needed right now during challenging times. Silver sings a spirited duet with Benson on “Ballin’ the Jack,” and Mickey Raphael’s harmonica is featured on a couple including the lively “Deep in the Heart of Texas” that closes the compelling set of contagious music that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face and some pep in your step.