Abi Tapia
The Beauty in the Ruin       2008

review: Buddy Magazine by Tom Geddie

Abi Tapia’s THE BEAUTY IN THE RUIN is a fine collection of sad songs sewn into a warm patchwork quilt with “a common thread of hope, redemption, and joy.”  The people she writes and sings about have “spent a long, long time on the edge of a think red line” between right and wrong, pride and shame.

Tapia’s third CD includes a dozen consistently strong songs that, if they must be classified, are modern folk that would mostly fit on country radio, too.  The tone might be a little too “confessional” for the electric guitar crowd, but that’s their problem.  The songs are good, the music’s good and never in too much of a hurry, and Tapia’s fairly husky vocals resonate with sincerity appeal.

The CD’s title is a line from “Flying,” which Tapia wrote after flying over Louisiana and seeing the relationship between nature and man.  With songwriting awards from the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Wildflower Music Festival, and the Austin Songwriters Group, we expect strong lyrics.

On “Beware,” the most traditional-folk-sounding song, Tapia urges us to beware of the water, beware of the sky, beware of the fire, and the earth beneath your feet, and to stay close to the TV because there’s no safety for a ship out on the sea.  She means just the opposite of course, or at least means that living is worth the danger.

Chris Gage produced and added keyboards, guitar, Dobro, mandolin, and percussion with contributions from Glenn Fukunaga (bass), Bruce Logan (drums), Eleanor Whitmore (violin), and Buzz Evans (steel guitar).  Gage, Christine Albert and Bill Small add effective backup vocals.- Tom Geddie