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Local Music: Some Choice CDs
Whit Hill and the Postcards, “We Are Here” (Home Run Records)

Should one require any more proof that Ann Arbor has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to music, this disc is it.

Ann Arbor’s multitalented entertainer Whitley Hill – known over the years for her work with her dance company, People Dancing – has embarked on a new career as a singer-songwriter and recording artist. This, Hill and her band’s debut CD, offers what she calls “beatnik-tinged country music” – 14 original, acoustic tracks that positively shine.

Hill’s evocative and thoughtful lyrics, nostalgia-tinged vocals and crackerjack band all work to make “We Are Here” a standout. Her husband, Al Hill – a familiar talent on the local music scene for years and leader of his own group, the Love Butlers – produced the disc. Also on board are bass player Tim Marks and drummer Steve Nistor (who have since been replaced in the band by Patrick Prouty and Tim Gahagan).

On “We Are Here,” Hill reflects on her former U-M roommate and future pop star Madonna via the country-rocker “Maddie” (“little future billionaire, heard I had a room to share…”). On the twangy “Oh Well,” she explores the heartbreak of a good love gone bad. “Sleeper Car” waxes nostalgic, while on the gentle “The Night When I Was Born,” Hill turns reflective, accompanied by a single guitar. “Tone Shift” is an unexpected jazzy turn, with spoken-word lyrics. “Please Pass You,” a country ode to the simple joys of sharing breakfast with your loved one, is one of the best tunes.

The album also earned Hill a four-star review from the All Music Guide. The disc is available at Borders, Rubber Soul and through Hill’s Web site, www.whithill.com.

-Roger LeLievre

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