Hearing Eva Cassidy sing her bluesy, jazzy acoustic version of Over The Rainbow can move the listener to tears. In this black and white video, recorded in early 1996, on a night she was getting a cold, Eva sings with friends, making an audio collection of her covers and favorites. Her story includes being true to herself, wanting to sing what inspired her, and that meant she had no clear cut genre for a record label to sign her. And she wasn’t willing to pick a genre or change her look or style. She was herself. Sadly she died the same year this was recorded which can make her performance and interpretation more poignant.
There seem a few themes in this bare bones story…of a woman’s passion to stay true to herself in a male run industry, her evident skill as a musician and the love of the songs she covered making them her own. Now almost 30 years later her songs and videos hold up. She connected strongly with each song she chose, hence no genre per se. Yet now in 2022 that probably wouldn’t be a concern?
To watch and listen to a talented artist who is authentic, takes her time, and touches our hearts is a gift at any time, but particularly in challenging times it can be a balm.