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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Eva Cassidy : A Life Lived Well.




Cassidy, died of melanoma at 33 in late 1996.

At the time of her death Cassidy, had gained a following in her hometown. It began in the mid-1980's when she met Chris Biondo, a recording engineer and musician who used her primarily as a backup singer and then paired her with Chuck Brown, a soul singer who was the reigning king of a local style of dance music called ''go-go.''
They made an album, ''The Other Side,'' and performed together, an experience that benefited both of them. Mr. Brown sang some of the blues and jazz songs he had long wanted to try, Cassidy displayed her abilities as a belter and, sharing the stage with a voluble partner, gained the confidence to play before larger crowds.
At the same time she was also fronting her own band, with Mr. Biondo on bass, and spending a lot of time in the studio, where she and Mr. Biondo were recording what would become the album many critics believe is her best, ''Eva by Heart.''
The process was slow and painstaking, Mr. Biondo recalled. ''Her approach was to try to attain perfection with every song,'' he said, ''and of course she never thought she reached it. If you told her something she did was really good, she thought you were just trying to be nice. I never knew anyone whose self-image was so different from the reality.''
By then the disease that would kill her was also spreading. It began as hip pain that Cassidy, who had worked for years in a flower nursery, bending and lifting, shrugged off. When a diagnosis was finally confirmed, the cancer had metastasized and she was not given long to live.
Her last appearance was at an emotional farewell concert organized by her friends at a club in Georgetown. She was carried on stage and sang one song, ''Wonderful World.'' Less than two months later, she died.