A Calm Sun
Maple Syrup Music
This songstress has crafted the 14 songs that make up this uniquely beautiful album that works its way into your heart because the songs seem to pop out of nowhere. When I started to play the disc for the first time I was in the truck and jammed on the brakes as I was coasting down the driveway when her ethereal voice starts the song and suddenly this line is banging around in my head : “Zipper talks to the Velcro, ‘Hey, man. we’re kind of alike, we both have lots of little arms that wrap around each other tight.’”
Where the hell did that come from? And it was released to us in a fragile/warm yet strong voice that is beautifully secure in its own self. Her voice varies depending on what the song needs, sometimes she is a country honky tonker, at times meditative, and at other times just what the song calls for, but it is always rich and expressive. The songs are a comfort and comforting because they go deeper into the emotions that are life, listen to “A Calm Sun.”
For this album, which is co produced by Ms Kernochan, John Schimpf and Scott Jacoby, they assembled an all-star cast of musicians, Dean Parks - acoustic & electric guitars, pedal steel banjo, dobro, and ukulele; Dan Lutz - acoustic bass; and Aaron Sterling - drums & percussion; to name a few who contributed to this effort where she, Lesley Kernochan, takes care of lead vocals and original backbone acoustic guitar parts. On this disc for the most part her singing is blended into the music and sounds like another instrument in the harmonic way it is used. By the way she has two other earlier albums, and they display her wide ranging talents. Haven't had opportunity to give them close listens, they seem intriguing. It was noticed in the notes on her website, https://lesleykernochan.com/music, her first instrument was Alto Saxophone, which was her main instrument for 15 or so years, keyboards, she plays musical saw as well as acoustic guitars, some piano, and does some wonderful a cappella singing. A Calm Sun has very much that Americana/Country sound through and through, though this disc contains the first Americana song this mind can recollect it heard about meditation.
This is a disc which comes from this woman who has a bright future in all her endeavors as she has a lively and sharp intelligence. Take a look at the lyrics that are in the CD booklet, it takes a wide ranging thinking to put these images together. An eclectic mix of images which includes the way they are put together, this disc is almost as warm and fuzzy as if it were a new boy/girl friend and yet it is not light and poufy, there is much to be digested here, but you never lose the comfort of the warm feel.
by bob gottlieb