Circles in Sand
WINNER OF FOLK ALBUM OF THE YEAR! From New Age Voice Magazine The first reviews are in, and the critics are raving about it. Scott and Leslie have crafted another beautiful album, highlighted by Leslie's extraordinary vocals, and Scott's excellent arrangements and production. With beautiful songs, featuring guest musicians like Jerry Marrotta, David Torn, Chris Brubeck and Steve Gorn, 'Circles' is a CD you won't want to miss! Following up their successful and critcally acclaimed CD 'In The Slience', Leslie and Scott have created an album of songs that are contemporary yet timeless with a sound that is spacious and engaging. This Enhanced CD (pop it in your computer for a mini movie!) offers 10 beautiful new songs, thought-provoking lyrics, extraordinary vocals, wonderful musicianship and excellent arrangements & production. Read what the critics say: 'Gossamer vocals dance through lush dreamscapes on the latest disc from the artful duo of Leslie Ritter and Scott Petito. The album overflows with precisely articulated emotion and delicately crafted vignettes, and contains a haunting version of 'Woodstock' that would make Joni Mitchell proud.' Peter Hanson.........Metroland 'Leslie and Scott are back with another set of what can only be called Woodstock songs. Aided by a roll-call of Hudson Valley luminaries including Jerry Marotta, Steve Gorn, David Torn, Chris Brubeck, Peter 'Madcat' Ruth, Mike DeMicco and Aaron Hurwitz, Leslie lends her lovely voice to seven originals, plus Joni Mitchell's 'Woodstock', Robbie Robertson's 'Fallen Angel' and Tom Pacheco's 'A Million Stars.' Torn and Gorn lend an eastern, otherworldly undercurrent to 'Woodstock', 'She Waits' and 'A Million Stars,' and songs like 'Fallen Angel' and 'When The Night Spills' have an easy feel that belies the artistry that infuses the album. 'Thin Ice,' a Ritter/Petito/Reineke collaboration, is instantly recognizable as a classic tune.' Todd Paul........Chronogram Artist Bios.... Leslie Ritter - grew up with musician parents and was singing show tunes, Tony Bennett ballads and Puccini arias by the time she was 6. Following acting studies at NYU, she appeared in several off-Broadway productions before moving to Woodstock to devote herself to singing. Leslie has performed and recorded with James and Livingston Taylor, Dr. John, David Wilcox, Rory Block, John Sebastian, Shawn Colvin, Todd Rundgren, Kris Kristofferson, Artie Traum, Odetta, The Fugs, Tom Paxton and others. She co-founded Amy and Leslie, 'upstate New York's premier female singing duo' (Dirty Linen). By 1995 when she and Amy parted to pursue separate careers, they had received international critical acclaim for three albums, a VH-1 video, placed 2 singles on Top 30 adult Contemporary charts and sold over 25,000 copies of their 1994 recording 'Take Me Home'. Scott Petito - Bassist, guitarist and keyboardist Scott Petito grew up near Woodstock, NY, studied at Berklee College of Music, and is the award-winning producer/owner of NRS Recording Studios. His live and recorded performance credits include The Band, Rory Block, James and Livingston Taylor, Mark Knopfler, Keith Richards, Allan Ginsburg, Happy & Artie Traum, The Dolphins, Bela Fleck, Howard Levy, Tom Paxton, Michael Franks, Stevie Wonder, John Sebastian and hundreds more. He is also bassist for the seminal poetry/rock group,'The Fugs'. As producer, his records have earned Grammy nominations, Top 40 AC Singles, European Gold Singles and frequent placement on radio charts. Scott's composed and produced musical scores for film and tv - BBC, CBC, Discovery, Disney, CBS, PBS, Lifetime, Weather Channel - and numerous corporate clients (BMW, Estee Lauder, Kraft Foods, AT&T, Revlon, Wired Music Services). Leslie & Scott - A Live Performance Review Albany's Metroland Newspaper by Peter Hanson Everything about the performance that Leslie Ritter and Scott Petito gave at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre on Saturday was intimate. While guitarist-bassist Petito used a small speaker, Ritter relied on the power of her delicate voice. Most in attendance savored the opportunity to hear good singing in it's pure form, but one soul asked Ritter to sing louder. Ritter joked that because she was a theater major in college, projecting her voice between songs was easy: I speak, there's no problem.' 'That depends on what she's saying,' Petito interjected. Then he added: 'I'll pay for that tonight.' That exchange was typical of the loose vibe of Saturday's show. Based in the Woodstock area, Ritter and Petito have been living and working together for years, so they drifted into and out of each other's musical spaces. Whenever Petito completed an instrumental passage, for instance, Ritter's vocals wafted in as naturally as sunlight following a storm. Tracks including 'Forgiveness' and 'Broken Wings' - both from the duo's first album, In the Silence - rolled with the buttery texture of Petito's fretwork and the warm beauty of Ritter's voice. Petito played his instruments with a jazzman's creativity, matching conventional strumming and picking with offbeat fingering that drew out quirky sounds. Rather than showing off his chops with busy playing - although certain tunes featured dizzying rides up and down the necks of his guitars - Petito matched seemingly disparate notes in vivid combinations and bent notes to accentuate the emotions in songs. Ritter, half of defunct folk duo Amy & Leslie, found an intriguing middle ground between control and expressiveness. Every note she hit felt practiced, but she never sang by rote; perhaps the intricacy of the melodies posed enough of a challenge that she wasn't able to disengage herself from the music and run on autopilot. She traveled to some exceptionally beautiful spaces during the show, with her nimble soprano comfortably gliding above, below and upon the evening's melodies. A snapshot of the duo's approach was visible when they performed Joni Mitchell's 'Woodstock.' Petito played fretless bass, his hands dancing around the instrument and conjuring fluid, wild noises that flowed with the song's melody and also departed from it to add evocative colors. Ritter sang a dark, rangy interpretation of the song that put more comforting versions - notably Crosby, Stills & Nash's - to shame by investing the song with the drama it deserves. The show closed with another cover, Robbie Robertson's 'Twilight,' which the duo performed at a memorial service for Rick Danko last year. The song was like one of their own - melancholy and articulate - and it's notes fell through the air like dead leaves caught in a lazy wind. As did all of the songs that preceded it, 'Twilight' showed that Ritter and Petito don't need pyrotechnics - or even, in Ritter's case, amplification - to explore the nuances of quiet, heartfelt music.