"American Romance" and "Rosebud" were produced by the legendary Nik Venet, and are Harriet's fourth and fifth solo albums as an artist. She has a strong base of fans who recently discovered her as a performer, as well as those who have followed her career since the seventies. Her live concert is full of humor, warmth and emotionally impactful songs. Accompanying herself on keyboard, Schock is joined by Joe Lamanno on bass, and singers Gary Floyd and Corwyn Travers. On the "American Romance" CD, Deedee O'Malley and Jannel Rap sing backup.
As a songwriting consultant, Harriet teaches and consults with professional and pre-professional songwriters in person, privately and for the Songwriters Guild Foundation in Los Angeles, in seminars and over the internet, worldwide. Her book, "Becoming Remarkable" is an internationally acclaimed book on songwriting.
3 Reviews of "American Romance"
Allmusicguide.com, December, 2000
AMG EXPERT REVIEW: American Romance was Harriet Schock's return to recording after two decades of behind-the-scenes songwriting. It was also her first collaboration with producer Nik Venet, and appeared as a cassette-only release in the early 90s, and then as a CD in 2000. It's an incredibly consistent effort, even by Schock's standards, and - for an album comprising just keyboards and vocals - its sound is remarkably rich and detailed, with some particularly lovely vocal arrangements. Schock's skills are, as always, to be found in her ability to put new spins on old subject matters. The title track takes a clear-eyed look at real relationships, free from the fanciful melodrama with which so many lesser songwriters imbue their compositions. Living, breathing relationships are explored on this album, and there is no attempt to gloss over such everyday realities as spite, jealousy, ardour and regret. Schock never patronises her audience like that, and it pays off.
A high point is the reworking of her classic "Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady". What was passingly enjoyable easy listening in the hands of Helen Reddy, is a work of great maturity here. Schock splices the track with a new composition, "One-time Lover", resulting in a song-suite that has a strong narrative quality, almost like a mini-novel.
Every other track would be worth analysing (particularly the sublime "For What It's Worth"), suffice to say that all have naggingly good melodies, scalpel-sharp lyrics, and fluid electric piano accompaniment. One final note - there are only eight tracks on American Romance.. This is not a bad thing; in the midst of the CD era, with most artists cramming their albums with upwards of 16 tracks (not to mention shovel-loads of hubris, and those irritating 'hidden' cuts), it makes this a remarkably palatable work. - Charles Donovan
DISCOVERIES MAGAZINE, JAN. 2001:
HARRIET SCHOCK "American Romance" Future Schock FSD-19201-2 Best-known for writing Helen Reddy's 1975 smash `Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady,Ã‚Â´ Harriet Schock defies easy categorization: composer, vocalist, musician, teacher, author. Such wide-ranging experience allows Schock to explore lyrical and melodic subtleties on her latest CD, American Romance (previously issued on cassette). According to the credits, Nik Venet `produced and directedÃ‚Â´ "American Romance," a tribute to the late producer's conceptualizing the disc as a seamless union of eight individual ballads. Nowhere is this more evident than on `The Lady Suite,Ã‚Â´ a fresh seven minute interpretation of `Ain't No Way To Treat A LadyÃ‚Â´ and `One Time Lover.Ã‚Â´ Emphasizing the melody, arrangement, and singer -- pianist, Venet adds understated strings and atmospheric backgroud vocals, spotlighting the song and composer. Songs like `OK You Win, I Give UpÃ‚Â´ and the title track would be hits, if today's radio formats broke free of their narrow restrictions. Celebrating the cherished memories a parent imprints on a child, Schock connects her personal longings to universal sentiments on `Dancing With My Father.Ã‚Â´ In a rather different manner, `CoyoteÃ‚Â´ empathizes with the plight of that animal as development encroaches. More than echoing the singer-songwriter tradition, "American Romance" renews popular music for the 21st century. Joe Tortelli, Discoveries Magazine
Nephi's Music World, November 2000
Harriet Schock may be American music's best kept secret. With a voice that can be at once angelic and haunting, Schock makes her foray back into the recording world with recent CD releases American Romance and Rosebud.
Schock, perhaps best known for writing the song "Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady," a smash hit for Helen Reddy in 1975, is also very much an artist in her own right, a true "artist's artist."
After releasing three solo albums in the '70s, Schock picks up where she left off with American Romance, which could very well be called "American Classic," due to its fine songwriting by Schock and beautifully understated production by the late Nik Venet. It begins with the plaintive "OK, You Win, I Give Up, You're Right, I'm Gone," a song that pulls the listener in from the first words she sings. The quiet nature of the song almost disguises its biting lyrics..." Nephi Furguson
The rest of this review can be read at http://www.angelfire.com/music2/nmw/music.html
Check out the artist's website:
1. OK, You Win, I Give Up, You're Right, I'm Gone
2. American Romance
3. You Are
4. All About Eve
5. Lady Suite (Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady/One Time Lover)
6. Dancing with my Father
8. For What It's Worth