PRISCILLA AHN "A Good Day" Blue Note

Priscilla Ahn's voice, tone and versatility make it easy for listeners to have
Priscilla Ahn's voice, tone and versatility make it easy for listeners to have "A Good Day." (By Henry Diltz)
  Enlarge Photo    
Friday, August 1, 2008

PRISCILLA AHN"A Good Day"Blue Note

EVEN BEFORE THE release of her debut CD, "A Good Day," singer-songwriter Priscilla Ahn proved ready for prime time when her songs were featured on episodes of "Grey's Anatomy." Turns out there's more where those tunes came from -- a lot more.

"A Good Day" is stuffed with soft-spun folk-pop musings, including the childlike "Dream" and the album's unabashedly innocent closing title track. By turns trite and intriguing, Ahn's lyrics are uneven, to say the least, which is one reason her cover of Willie Nelson's "Opportunity to Cry" is so refreshing. But there's nothing inconsistent about her voice (an alluring soprano) or her hushed tone. Indeed, it hardly matters whether Ahn is occupied with sweet nothings ("Leave the Light On") or bittersweet ballads ("Wallflower"). Either way, she invites listeners to lean in to her intimate performances.

"A Good Day," however, has something else going for it, setting it apart from most of the folk-pop competition. With plenty of help from producer-keyboardist and percussionist Joey Waronker, Ahn and numerous musicians have crafted unusually colorful and subtly woven arrangements that take advantage of her versatility as she quietly moves from guitar, autoharp, harmonica and ukulele to piano, harpsichord and glockenspiel.

-- Mike Joyce

Appearing Tuesday at Rams Head Tavern (410-268-4545,http://www.ramsheadtavern.com). Show starts at 7:30.


© 2008 The Washington Post Company