Recommendations: Joanna Wang and “Not One Less” 5

FENGHUANG, HUNAN — So, there I was in a car, coming back from another trip to Fenghuang, when Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” emanated from the CD player. Two things make the soundtrack for this part of my life noteworthy. I was not heading back to Manhattan, USA, but to Jishou, China. (And, no, I was not feeling homesick, though the song is one of my favorites.) More importantly, the singer was not fellow Long Islander Billy Joel, but a woman with a soothing, sultry voice. Oh, I was hooked! After listening to the rest of the tracks, I had to ask who she was. Wáng Rùolín (王若琳), also known as Joanna Wang, is a Taiwan-based singer/songwriter in the Norah Jones mold. So far she has cut two CDs, and if her music gets more US airplay, Wang might just give Jones a run for her money. (Like Paul McCartney, one of her idols, Wang plays guitar left-handed, as you can see in this photo). The two women have similar singing styles — a casual, effortless sound, as if each one were singing just to you, one person at a time. (I am dating myself here, but Astrud ...
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