Veteran acoustic performer Bob Warren, from the mountains of northern New York, has teamed up with a relative newcomer, singer Joy Mackenzie, from the mountains of northern California, for a starkly beautiful collection of songs called “You Taught Me Something New Today.”
Along with bassist Tony Markellis, the two sing finely crafted songs that were composed by Warren, and brought to breathtakingly beautiful life by all three.
It starts off with the formidable “Lonely Tonight,” a deep and dark place where Warren sings, “I feel lonely tonight, not because I’m alone,” the chemistry between the players is uncanny.
The simply gorgeous, well constructed “Home” follows, and you start to feel the depth of their vocal blend. With the haunting, dark “One Day,” Joy takes the reins with stunning results; the insightful title track “You Taught Me Something New Today” is a highlight, as is the bluesy ode to changes “He Don’t Live Here Anymore.”
Although this is billed as a “bare bones” record, there’s nothing missing or lacking here. The voices are heavenly, the blend out of this world, and the understated but well-played stringed instruments are just enough, and not a note too many, as it should be.
David Malachowski is a freelance writer living in the Hudson Valley. Submit your 518 Fresh Tracks to firstname.lastname@example.org
“You can hear the excitement of new beginnings in the music Bob Warren is creating with Joy MacKenzie. His intimate and poignant lyrics are perfectly suited to the spare orchestration of a folk duo. Their voices blend intuitively and tenderly in rich harmony that makes the songs dig deep, and then soar.
Sarah Craig- Booking and Management, Caffe Lena
“Bob Warren and Joy MacKenzie performed at The Old Lynn Concerts last Saturday evening to a spellbound audience. This exciting duo held our seasoned audience captive for the full two hour performance with a well-paced and artful journey across the musical spectrum. In a venue like ours, top-flight musicianship is to be expected – but Warren & MacKenzie raised the bar with a beautiful melding of voices guiding us all on a journey through Warren’s well-constructed songs. Poignant stories of life intersecting with humor and buoyed by the good fun of two good friends sharing themselves with our audience. The end of the show was marked by a rarely seen but well-deserved standing ovation. We will definitely have them back.”
Lorne Clarke, Old Lynn Concerts, Lynn, PA
“Bob and Joy are clearly having a lot of fun with this music. And there’s a depth to it, too. Bob reminds me of Dylan, Seeger and Redbone all in one. And then you add Joy’s voice and there’s a real purity to it all.”
Todd Moe – North County Public Radio, St Lawrence University, Canton, NY
“I was first drawn to Bob Warren’s insightful musical presentations of local culture and history (Greenwich the Musical and Only the Message Mattered). But his music has come to mean so much more to me. He is an artist, a master of his craft. He follows a thread of an idea or a small personal moment, and creates music that’s thoughtful, sometimes whimsical, but always beautiful. His concerts touch hearts, bringing joy and comfort to our audiences, who are always eager for more. What a delight to hear of Bob’s house concerts. One of these cold upstate evenings I’d like nothing more than to gather friends, food and drink around my winter fireplace, and invite Bob Warren over to play the chill away.”
Todd DeGarmo, Founding Director, The Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, NY