BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED September 1998:
LISA BALDWIN AND DAVE HANEY WHERE WE BELONG
Lisa Baldwin and Dave Haney are a modern acoustic singer/songwriter folk duo with a lovely, understated style. Lisa’s voice and songwriting-both strong yet easy going and gentle provide the keystone of their enjoyable sound. Dave’s equally sturdy voice in close- fitting harmonies and their impeccable rhythm guitars complete the arch of their art.
This is not the depressive, angry music of far too many modern folk singer/songwriters. Instead, sensitive and perceptive portraits emerge of people (“For Viola”) and situations (“These Days”). Baldwin can also be a thought-provoking writer: “I Can Help Myself” is her reflection on people who begin to forget that some thankful prayer might be in order from time to time. “Lay It On The Line” is (in these politically correct times) a rare song of praise to the one-night romantic encounter. Even when confronting personal fears and inner demons (“Without The Pain”), she never wallows in misery.
Even with the snappy flatpicking kickoff of “I’ve Got A Feeling,” instrumentally this is a rather sparse CD. It fits Baldwin’s and Haney’s concept well, but it will not be for those who like the picking to match the singing and material. However, “Where We Belong” has the intimate feel of hearing these pleasing performers in their living room. There’s a good reason for that: The project was recorded on a DAT machine straight with no overdubs in their log cabin home in Alabama. It’s as nice as anything that they could have come up with in a high-tech studio, and–from the relaxed, pure music they got as a result–maybe even better. But then again, home with their love and creativity is where they belong. (Lisa Baldwin and Dave Haney, 605 County Rd 39, Notasulga, AL 36866)RDS
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER June 11, 1998
“Where We Belong”
Lisa Baldwin and Dave Haney
“Where We Belong” is like chilled watermelon on a hot summer day—simple and satisfying. There’s a fair chance you’ve heard Lisa Baldwin and Dave Haney play. They’ve been performing as a duo since 1991, appearing often in local clubs like Montgomery’s 1048 Jazz and Blues, Decatur’s B.J.’s or Troy’s Front Porch.
They’ve played separately a lot longer than that. Baldwin, a talented songwriter, began performing in 1981. Haney. an Auburn University English professor, has recorded two albums on Rounder Records and has performed several times on “The Prairie Home Companion” as part of the Boston group, Joe Val and the New England Bluegrass Boys.
“Where We Belong” shows the duo’s considerable recording experience not so by what they do as by what they don’t do.
What they don’t do is gild the lily. They have beautiful pure sound, and they know better than to adulterate it with unnecessary additions. There is some nice harp work (harmonica for you non-blues fans) and mandolin by Haney. Baldwin adds some nice work on keyboards, but most of the album places its trust in Baldwin’s gorgeous vocals, the full richness of Haney’s guitar, and well-crafted songs, such as “Marshall County Red Clay,” “Without the Pain,” and the title track.
The trust is not misplaced.
“Where We Belong” is a simple, confident, lovely album.
Rick Harmon, Montgomery Advertiser
Dirty Linen #79 (Dec/Jan 1998-99)
Lisa Baldwin and Dave Haney
Where We Belong Rackettown 002 (1998)
Lisa Baldwin is a songwriter whose sweet, downhome voice is a perfect match for her songs about family and growing up in the rural south. Backed by Dave Haney on vocals, guitar, and mandolin, her unadorned songs have a convincing simplic8ity about them. Baldwin wrote 15 of the 17 songs, and while they have a nice, laid-back, mid-tempo feel, she would have been better off trimming three or four of the weaker cuts. (Jle)