"Definitions become virtually useless to describe the singing of Eva Cassidy." - LA Times
Eva Cassidy tragically died of melanoma in 1996, virtually unknown outside of a devoted group of fans and admirers near her home in Washington, DC. Five years later, however, Cassidy's music became an international phenomenon via a compilation of tracks titled Songbird, a now-definitive version of "Over the Rainbow" that became a massive hit in the U.K. (and beyond) and a groundswell of belated critical acclaim. Suddenly, seemingly overnight, the world knew of Cassidy's stunning vocal qualities and innate interpretive powers. Cassidy's posthumously released collections have sold more than eight million copies with Songbird selling a staggering two million copies in the U.K. alone.
Simply Eva, due January 25 (Blix Street), is a compilation of acoustic versions of twelve songs recently unearthed from Cassidy's recording archives as the label searched for a possible Christmas track to release. "I literally heard Eva for the first time, again," says label president Bill Straw. "That I was hearing the same songs in a different way actually added to my sense of re-discovery." Included in the collection are stark guitar and vocal versions of "Songbird", "Time After Time", an extended version of the Paul Simon classic "Kathy's Song", gospel standards "People Get Ready" and "Wade In the Water", "Wayfaring Stranger", "True Colors", "Autumn Leaves" and "Time After Time". The acclaimed original Blues Alley acoustic version of "Over the Rainbow" also makes its first appearance on an album. And that Christmas track? Cassidy's "Silent Night" will be included as a bonus track in the digital version of Simply Eva. Watch the video of "Over the Rainbow" after the jump.
Eva Cassidy - "Fields of Gold" (from the album Songbird)