Paula Cole: 2017
Paula Cole and Noe Socha with John Platt (WFUV staff photo)
Twenty years after the release of This Time, Paula Cole might well have decided to revisit that Grammy-nominated breakthrough, as Natalie Merchant did with Tiger Lily. She decided to go farther back, though, to the music she heard growing up in her family's house, the music that still moves her — the American popular songbook.The result is the 20-song treasure chest, Ballads.
Cole's definition of "ballads" is elastic: she covers standards like "God Bless the Child" and "Blue Moon," but also '60s classics like "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Caroll" and "Ode to Billie Joe." Singing from the heart, her voice has never sounded better.
In this return visit to WFUV Paula performed four songs from the album and spoke movingly about why this project meant so much to her.