Charlsey Etheridge - "Memories of Mine"
Written by Dan King
Having been a CD reviewer for Prescription Bluegrass in the past, as well as having written for various other publications including my own, it came as no large surprise when I received a package in the mail from a music publishing company containing a few CD’s that were hoping for my attention.
When you are a published reviewer, all sorts of offerings come your way shouting for attention, and they can run the gamut from pretty darn good to just plain miserable. So it was with mixed emotion that I opened one of the CDs and approached the stereo.
Once all systems were go, it didn’t take but a short couple of seconds for me to become completely mesmerized with the sounds that were come out of my speakers. If I was going to come out of this self-imposed writing exile, I could think of no better reason to do so than to tell the world about this wonderful singer named Charlsey Etheridge. Charlsey Etheridge’s new CD, her first, is entitled “Memories of Mine.” It’s a great title because chances are, the music contained on it will bring back memories of yours as well. Just about every tune on the CD is a traditional song which means it’s been around so long, nobody even remembers who wrote it!
The offerings include Wayfaring Stranger, Amazing Grace, and Old Rugged Cross to name just a few. Additionally, four of the tunes on the album are songs by people whose names we do remember, names like Bill Monroe – Blue Moon of Kentucky, and Pee Wee King (no relation) – Tennessee Waltz.
There are ten songs in all.
Okay, enough cataloging, how does she sing? Well my notes from my first listen say, and I quote, “There is not a single thing about this album that I don’t like...pleasant voice, great instrumental accompaniment, great production, and nice song selection. Everything is ready to go. This young woman is undoubtedly bound for stardom.”
I sound pretty star struck for a guy who is not easily impressed, don’t I? But I’m telling you, it’s that good! Charlsey’s voice reminds at various times of some of the greats like Crystal Gayle, Emmy Lou Harris, and Amy Grant. Her phrasing is unique and tasteful, and emotion saturates her delivery without being overbearing or sounding pretentious. Her style hearkens back to the time when female singer actually sang and didn’t just scream.
Quite simply, I’d rather listen to Charlsey Etheridge sing than just about any other female singer in the world!
After listening to and loving the album, I also took the liberty of visiting YouTube to try to find some offerings from Charlsey. I found two videos, both covers of songs that Eric Clapton has performed for almost his entire career; Tulsa Time, and Malted Milk. The videos have poor sound quality and though pleasant, just don’t do her justice. What is impressive about the video search though is her obvious Clapton connection/influence. Impressive to me because I’m a huge Clapton fan.
"Memories of Mine" is an absolute A Number One first effort for Charlsey Etheridge. I wish her all the luck and success in the music world, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this wonderful new singer. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep my Charlsey Etheridge fix spinning on the home system for some time to come. My rating is 5 Banjo Strings out of a possible five.
Dan King writes for www.PrescriptionBluegrassblog.com
Check out Charlsey's music for yourself at www.CharlseyEtheridge.com