Carol Noonan released “Waltzing’s for Dreamers” in November. First I’ll tell you about the reason for the CD, and then I’ll rave about the songs.

The disc was made to support the Waltzing’s for Dreamers New Music for Free Series at the Stone Mountain Arts Center. SMAC is the revered venue in Brownfield owned by Noonan.

“I had two quests for this season coming up here at the SMAC: to put on some free shows for our recession hard-hit community, and to bring new artists here who actually get paid. With the support of my new album and all the wonderful folks who contributed to it we are doing just that,” she said.

Several of these free shows have already taken place, with more on the way. Music fans can see an up-and-coming artist for free; the only request is a donation that could be pet food, nonperishable food items or sticks of firewood, depending on the night’s theme. The more copies of “Waltzing’s for Dreamers” that are sold, the more free shows and donations for needy families there will be.

The story doesn’t end there, because “Waltzing’s for Dreamers” isn’t just any old CD — it’s a Carol Noonan CD. I’ll take this opportunity to renew my conviction that she is one of the finest singers I’ve ever heard, with a voice that is rich and emotive.

The title track is a Richard Thompson song, and Noonan claims it as her own. Another from Thompson is “Galway to Graceland”: “She was humming ‘Suspicion,’ that’s the song she liked best/ She had ‘Elvis, I love you,’ tattooed on her breast.” Noonan also lends her voice to songs by Peter Mulvey (“Knuckleball Suite”), Cole Porter (“In the Still of the Night”), Johnny Cash (“Still Miss Someone”) and Steve Earle (“Goodbye”).

Five originals — Noonan’s an exquisite wordsmith — are woven into the album’s 14 tracks. “Emily” is one example: “Through the iron gate, there he’ll sit and wait/ some twist of fate he’ll see Emily,” she sings. Another is “Bread and Wine,” with lyrics like: “Bring me the bread and bring me the wine, don’t leave your smile at the door/ But each time you leave you must believe, I’ll miss you even more.”

Noonan’s band is key on this CD, and Duke Levine’s electric and acoustic guitars have been imprinting her music with gold for years. Same goes for Kevin Barry’s acoustic guitar, lap steel and dobro.

The other musicians who make the CD what it is are Sonny Barbato (accordion), Billy MacGillivray (drums), Richard Gates (bass, vocals), Katy Noonan (vocals), Jay Bellerose (drums), Leigh Gibson (vocals), Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas (fiddle and cello), Heather Masse (vocals) and Jon Carroll (drums and vocal).

The album was produced by Pat O’Donnell and was recorded at Stone Mountain Studios in Brownfield. Bob Ludwig at Gateway did the mastering. “Waltzing’s for Dreamers” is available at and at the Stone Mountain Arts Center.

Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer.

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