Love Lust & Lilacs
Bob Norman's unusual songs, gentle wit, intricate guitar and harmonica work, and passionate singing have charmed folk audiences across the country for 23 years now. According to Pete Seeger, Bob writes 'warm, wonderful, very singable songs that capture the bittersweet lives of working people in a big city--the people who will not give up hope, love, and laughter.' The son of a symphony orchestra conductor and a former editor of 'Sing Out!', the nation's leading folk song magazine, Bob manages to fuse such varied influences as blues, country, contemporary folk, and classical guitar into a fascinating evening's entertainment. The 'Los Angeles Times' has called Bob Norman 'a mainstay of the folk circuit.' His multifaceted career in folk music has spanned more than 30 years. From 1970 to 1977, he was editor-in-chief of 'Sing Out!', then served on it's board until 1990, primarily as chairman. Since 1979, he has performed in major clubs, coffeehouses, and festivals from Boston to San Diego, sharing stages with folk legends like Seeger, Tom Paxton, Richie Havens, Jack Elliott, and Dave Van Ronk and gifted younger songwriters like John Gorka, Suzanne Vega, David Massengill, Shawn Colvin, and Patty Larkin. In 1990, Norman was a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk Competition at the Columbia River Folk Festival. In 1985 he performed in and directed the music for the Off-Broadway play 'Back County Crimes'. A glance at some of the musicians who have performed or recorded Bob's songs reveals the range of his writing: The list includes folk patriarch Pete Seeger, the brilliant blues and gospel singer Eric Bibb, Argentinian poet and songwriter Bernardo Palombo, and midwest folk-rocker Cooker John, a recent Modern Folk winner in the Minnesota Music Awards competition. Bob's songs have appeared in the 'Fast Folk' CD magazine and in 'Sing Out!', and one was used as the theme for a 1997 film called 'It's About Power'. 'Like all good songwriters,' says the 'New Yorker' magazine, 'Norman can distinguish the romantic from the sentimental; his bittersweet accounts of urban life are blissfully free of sappiness.' 'Love Lust & Lilacs' is Bob's third CD of original songs. Like the others, it was produced for Night Owl Records by Bob Rose. In addition to Bob Norman's vocals, guitar, and harmonica, it features Bob Rose on guitars, mandolin, bass, and percussion, Linda LoPresti and Eugene Ruffolo on backup vocals, Stanley Schwartz on keyboards, Warren Odze on drums, Kenny Kosek on fiddle, Abby Newton on cello, Saul Broudy on harmonica, and Donald Castellow on Irish low whistle. Reviews follow.