Anyone delighted by Lisa Moscatiello's debut album, "Innocent When You Dream," will find similar rewards listening to her latest release, "Second Avenue."
For one thing, her voice is as striking as ever--a lovely soprano capable of expressing moments of tender reflection, hard-won optimism and soulful yearning. For another, her interpretations of songs composed by other artists are genuinely affecting, which is no mean feat when you consider that the album includes such diverse tunes as Jesse Winchester's "Biloxi," Abbey Lincoln's "Throw It Away" and the Eurythmics "Love Is a Stranger." And once again, the neatly tailored arrangements consistently flatter Moscatiello's voice in subtle ways, thanks in part to the support provided her by guitarists Robin Bullock and Dave Chapell, celliist Fred Lieder, bassist John Previti and Celtic harpist Sue Richards. Indeed, without help from Lieder and Richards, Moscatiello's rendering of the traditional ballad, "Lass of Glenshee" wouldn't be nearly as evocative as it is.
What sets "Second Avenue" apart from its predecessor is the emphasis on original material. Moscatiello wrote or co-wrote five songs on the new album, including the poignant title track and the coming of age ballad "Angry Town." These songs not only sit comfortably alongside the more familiar tunes, the best of them prove that Moscatiello's talent extends well beyond her remarkable vocal and interpetive gifts.
Appearing Saturday at the Alden Theatre with the Grandsons.
* To hear a free Sound Bite from Lisa Moscatiello, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8103. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)