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Liner Notes Magazine December 1998

    ...and so be good for goodness sake..."

    Rushing the season just a little bit, I recently received a tremendous present by way of singer/songwriter Maggi Hill. And I must have been really good this year, because her debut CD, "Keep the Label," is perfect right down to the title, with her styles ranging from Bonnie Raitt to Linda Ronstadt, to Emmylou Harris, with a definite nod of the cap to Joan Baez. Maggi Hill has delivered a CD that finally erases that line between pop, folk, and country that so many artists, like Shawn, Chapin, Alanis, and Jewel have been blurring. And for whatever mood you are in, there's a song, and each one is better than the last, especially when you play it over and over again. My personal favorite, "Man Woman Thing," is one I got to play on radio awhile ago, and hopefully will catch the ear of radio stations nationwide, no matter what their format. The only category this CD needs to be filed under is "fantastic". It should also be filled in your collection, so for more information, write Lowbrow Records, P.O. Box 572, Hopewell, NJ 08525. And I would be remiss in my duties not to thank Ms. Hill for the mention in her liner notes, as well. by Rocky-O

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Trenton Times, Friday, October 30, 1998

    "No matter how many years a musician works at his or her craft, that first album-whenever it comes- is a momentous occasion. So, for Maggi Hill, Hopewell's self professed "rebel without a cause," tonight's celebratory CD release party at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room in Princeton for "Keep the Label" is "huge." She played in cover bands for what seemed like "forever," from that "Pat Benatar/spandex thing" in the early 80's to the more recent stint with her guitar-playing husband in the Pedestrians. In between, there were five years of changing diapers for three children, and composing original songs in her basement. To help pay the bills, there are still enough occasions when Hill goes out with a four-piece semi-acoustic unit or as part of a country-flavored duo with her pedal steel player, or does the wedding-band thing. For the past four years, the singer with a terminal case of spunk has been most focused on fronting the Maggi Hill Band, a staple on the local bar and coffeehouse circuit. Though highly capable of unfurling a dazzling assortment of covers, the Maggi Hill Band is an original unit of explosive veteran rockers. And "Keep the Label," culled from three year's worth of sessions locally and in Nashville, is now the band's calling card in its quest for industry recognition. "It's the culmination of all the things I've ever wanted to do," says Hill. "And I didn't know that until I read a book called 'Composing a Life', where the premise is that everything you've ever done has a way of coming together." Hill has been told for years that she sings like Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt. While "Keep the Label" seeks to define the Maggi Hill sound, it surveys much of the vintage folk-rock turf of Raitt and Ronstadt with a decidely '90's sheen. Live, the rockers who make up the Maggi Hill Band-bass/pedal steel player Jerry Steele (Patti Labelle,Chic), guitarist John Bushnell (Unguided Missile, Bricks Mortar, Castle Browne), and former Down to Earth members Tom Reock(keyboards), Bob Demetrician (percussion, sax), and Steve DeMet (drums)--put on a high-energy show with crack musicianship and a fat sound. With Reock, Bushnell, Demetrican, and Steele sharing vocals with Hill, the Maggi Hill Band is fast becoming known as one of the best harmony bands around. "I'm famous as hell in Hopewell," says Hill. "But that isn't going to do too much for me down the road." Hill doesn't need to be a big star. She'd just like to make the move to the next level--the showcase clubs with some label backing. Three years ago, Hill took her songs to publishers BMI, who dispatched her to Nashville to record. Half of the album is comprised of those tracks. Among the rest, local hero Chris Harford produced, arranged, and played on "Flatliner." Keyboardist Glen McClelland (ex-Blood, Sweat, and Tears) also appears. "Keep the Label" is folk-rock with a country flavor, some blues and a touch of funk. If it sounds a bit safe for Spunk Maiden Hill, don't think she's gone soft. Alreaady, Hill reports she's getting edgier on the tracks she's writing for the follow up album. "I think my music is in the right place at the right time," says Hill. "It is what's happening." by Randy Alexander

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