Natalia Zukerman

Female singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen these days, multiplying like mogwai: Sprinkle a little water on them and suddenly they're everywhere. Worse, they all want to be just like Joni Mitchell, Ani DiFranco or Aimee Mann! Maybe that's why the truly talented singer-songwriters of today stand out so dramatically -- because in comparison to all the coffeehouse wannabes, they damn near radiate grace. Natalia Zukerman, the daughter of celebrated concert musicians Pinchas and Eugenia Zukerman, is one of these rare exceptions; her third album, Only Me, is a slinky, sexy, seamless intermarriage of folk, jazz and blues. Her lyrics wax poetic without waxing cliched, and her mastery of the acoustic guitar is a freakish thing to behold: Her nimble fingers can pluck upwards of thirty notes per measure. It's one thing to read about it, but to see those fingers moveŠwell, words just don't do the sight justice.

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