Yo-Yo Ma | Silk Road Ensemble - The Music of Strangers / FLICKDIRECT


Music is a universal language we all speak.  Regardless of what religion you are or where you live in the world, the idea of music is woven into the fabric of culture and everyday life.  Granted, the style of music can vary from country to country, religion to religion, friend to friend, but the idea of music can be heard worldwide.  This very concept is explored in the new documentary, The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. A movie 15 years (or more) in the making, it takes a look at various musicians, their heritages, backgrounds, cultures, instruments and the blending of all these factors to make a hybrid sound that can appeal to many.  It brings together the well-known idea that music can inspire, heal and unite. The movie opens with a look at Yo-Yo Ma, the cello child prodigy who has lived most of his life in the musical spotlight.  In 2000 he brought together a variety of musicians from all over the world for a workshop in Massachusetts without a clear objective in mind.  What emerged was a seedling of an idea that has simmered over the past 16 years. READ THE FULL FLICKDIRECT PIECE
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Luba Mason - MIXTURA / animaJazz


A master vocalist with virtuoso chops, Luba Mason has created her new CD, MIXTURA as a "genre -bending " musical journey via Kobalt Label Services.  "MIXTURA is a message about the importance of art as a medium of freedom of expression and life without boundaries, says Mason, "A culmination of everything I am, have learned and experienced so far in life as a singer, musician and artist. Its meaning is a ‘blend of different musical currents,' each song evoking different parts of me and full of surprises, twists and turns." Produced by the Yellowjackets' Jimmy Haslip, MIXTURA features 12 different tracks including 4 originals - 3 penned by Luba herself - in which she uses her voice as an instrument, one that is  finely tuned and able to accomplish breathtaking vocal feats. From the soft, breathy Brazilian ballad "On The 4th Of July" featuring Dori Caymmi and Kenny Loggins, to the jazzy feel of Van Morrison's classic "Moondance" (on which Mason is splendidly accompanied by Al Jarreau) to the wildly, range - defying soulful renditions of standards such as "Love For Sale" and "All That Jazz", Mason proves she can master a wildly diverse range of sounds. Luba Mason's MIXTURA is featured on animaJazz. SEE THE PAGE
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Joshua Bell Q&A with Music Times


Veteran violinist and conductor Joshua Bell captured the wave of a viral video craze in 2007, performing in a Pulitzer Prize-winning social experiment for the Washington Post. Releasing new album Brahms this fall, the music director at the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields will guest star on television series Royal Pains this Wednesday night, June 29. Music Times spoke with Bell about the famed Post piece, his past collaborations with the likes of Sting and Kristin Chenoweth, and his upcoming collection of Johannes Brahms' compositions. As a bonus for our readers, Bell has shared with Music Times an exclusive Spotify playlist of his favorite classical recordings. Listen below!
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After 20-Year Run, Cypress String Quartet plays farewell concert / WOSU Radio


Sunday afternoon the members of one of the world's great string quartets will go their separate ways after 20 years together on the international concert stage. The Cypress String Quartet performs its final concert Sunday, June 26 in the Opera Lab at San Francisco's War Memorial. As the quartet disbands, it leaves a legacy of 17 recordings, the commissioning of more than 30 new works for string quartet and countless acclaimed concerts around the globe. "It's a bittersweet experience," said Cypress Quartet violinist Tom Stone about anticipating the group's upcoming farewell concert. "We've had an incredible twenty years. I'm really looking forward to this last concert, but also sad." READ & LISTEN TO WOSU: Columbus SEGMENT
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  Interview with WOSU's Jennifer Hambrick

John Scofield | Joe Lovano Quartet play Ottawa Jazz Festival / Ottawa Citizen review


Continuing a collaboration that reaches as far back as their 1990 album Time On My Hands, guitarist John Scofield and saxophonist Joe Lovano returned to Ottawa on Saturday night for a blockbuster show at the National Arts Centre Theatre. Joined by the celebrated drum-bass pairing of Ben Street and Bill Stewart, the pair presented music mostly from Scofield's 2015 record Past Present. If you've attended one of the band's concerts over the past little while, the set list will come as no surprise. Lovano's explosive Cymbalism kicked off the performance. The two frontmen's musical relationship was on display here, as they slipped in and out of the tune's melody between improvised exchanges. Somewhat remarkably, they never got in each other's way, and this same trick was also used on Scofield's melancholy Mr. Puffy. Throughout the concert, their rapport gave the impression of two old friends having an amiable (but animated) conversation. Lovano and Scofield complemented each other impeccably, as could be heard in their unison rendition of the melody of Scofield's Museum. On the blues Past Present, however, it was Stewart that stole the show with his brilliant interjections into the pair's improvised dialogue. The drummer also delivered a powerful solo over a closing guitar/bass vamp. In a poignant contrast, the band then shifted into Hangover, on which Lovano played with tenderness and lyricism. READ THE FULL Ottawa Citizen REVIEW
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Maya Beiser - Tranceclassical is Philly.com 'Classical Pick'


Cellist Maya Beiser, whose new Innova-label disc Tranceclassical (out July 29, but available for preorder) is the latest wide-ranging collection of up-to-the-minute composers, including new works by Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, and Glenn Kotche. Beiser's cello is augmented with all manner of high-tech studio wizardry and guest stars that yield orchestral-size textures. Bigger surprises include the Lou Reed song "Heroin" with dreamy Bachlike arpeggios in an arrangement by David Lang. David T. Little's "Hellhound" is a cauldron of metal-prone, electric-driven textures. Best is last: "O Virtus Sapientiae" by the 12th-century abbess Hildegard of Bingen is presented as a stripped-down sparsely accompanied cello solo.  SEE THE FULL Philly.com PAGE
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The Hot Sardines - French Fries & Champagne / NPR: Weekend Edition Saturday


Formed by bandleader Evan "Bibs" Palazzo and lead singer "Miz Elizabeth" Bougerol, The Hot Sardines sophomore studio album, French Fries & Champagne on Universal Music Classics comes on the heels of their critically lauded self-titled debut album, which was named one of iTunes' best jazz albums of 2014 and spent more than a year on the Billboard Jazz Chart, debuting in the top 10 alongside Michael Bublé and Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga. Broadening its already impressive palette, the jazz collective combine covers and originals as they effortlessly channel New York speakeasies, Parisian cabarets and New Orleans jazz halls. Alan Cumming pairs with Elizabeth for a mischievous take on "When I Get Low, I Get High," a song popularized by Ella Fitzgerald. The album title track is one of several originals on the album, including Evan's instrumental homage to his old neighborhood, "Gramercy Sunset," and  "Here You Are Again," a woozy, country-leaning track written by Elizabeth. Jazz standard "Comes Love" starts as a minuet before vocalist Elizabeth, singing in her native French, conjures up spirits from the roaring ‘20s. The Hot Sardines even upend Robert Palmer's 1985 classic "Addicted To Love" with Elizabeth's cool vocals and hot horn arrangements. Singer Elizabeth Bougerol and band leader Evan Palazzo tell NPR's Scott Simon Craigslist helped them turn their hobby into a music career. READ & LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT SEE Georgia Public Broadcasting PAGE
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Brooklyn Rider welcomes Cellist - Michael Nicolas / Deutsche Welle


Deutsche Welle Sarah spends the day with bagels and Brooklyn Rider, one of New York´s finest and most experimental string quartets. In this episode they play a concert at National Sawdust as part of the New York Philharmonic Biennial. The concert is a bittersweet occasion, saying goodbye to founding member, cellist Eric Jacobsen, but welcoming new member Michael Nicolas. One-fourth of the innovative string quartet Brooklyn Rider will soon change: Eric Jacobsen, its cellist, plans to leave to concentrate on conducting, the group said on Thursday. He will be replaced by Michael Nicolas, a classmate of his at the Juilliard School who has played with other groups dedicated to new music, including the International Contemporary Ensemble. WATCH THE Deutsche Welle VIDEO
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Cypress String Quartet caps off 20-year career - WCLV interview Tom Stone and Jennifer Kloetzel


The Cypress String Quartet (Cecily Ward, violin; Tom Stone, violin; Ethan Filner, viola; and Jennifer Kloetzel, cello) will disband in the summer of 2016 after 20 fulfilling years of performing together. A Farewell Concert will be presented by the Cypress at the Green Room of the War Memorial Building on June 26, 2016. As a culmination of the group's work together, the Cypress's recording of the complete Beethoven String Quartets is now available on Avie Records. This release will be in conjunction with a month-long Beethoven celebration in the city of San Francisco, during which the quartet will present all 16 quartets at public venues in every district as a gift to their hometown that has supported and nurtured the ensemble for the past two decades. LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW
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  Interview with WCLV: Cleveland - Angela Mitchell

The Music of Strangers is a soulful doc on Yo-Yo Ma and his world-music band / Philly.com


Typical of so much video associated with the beloved, charismatic cellist Yo-Yo Ma, The Music of Strangers is full of humanitarian philosophy and picturesque shots of artist and cello in exotic locales. But preemptive skepticism is best placed on hold. Morgan Neville's high-budget HBO documentary about Ma and the musicians in his cross-cultural Silk Road Ensemble captures all manner of real-life moments - especially as the initial kumbaya purpose behind the group's formation in 2000 becomes complicated and heightened with the geopolitics of our time. Backing up for a sec, the documentary spells out how Ma, now 60 and raised in America by Chinese parents, came so early and easily to classical music success that much of the rest of his career has been about answering the "Now what?" question. Ma also admits that the touring life was such that leaving home made him physically ill - his son Nicholas says he once thought his dad worked at Boston's Logan Airport - and left him looking for greater social purpose amid the rigors of fame. READ THE FULL Philadelphia Enquirer REVIEW
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  APM - The Dinner Party Download

Manhattan Camerata set to play NYC's Le Poisson Rouge


The founders of the Manhattan Camerata, guitarist Pedro H. da Silva & pianist Lucia Caruso, could not be more excited to take the stage as a duo again. The husband and wife team never fails to provide an intimate musical experience packed with undying energy, gorgeous harmonies, and immense passion. 

Together the couple explores Transclassical music, a term Lucia coined that describes a style based on classical music techniques, incorporating improvisation and elements from different cultures around the world in a variety of styles and genres, mixing western and world instruments. Da Silva's dazzling classical guitar, Portuguese guitar, and sitar playing blends stunningly with Caruso's virtuosic piano craft, yielding a unique and rich sonic experience, perfect for a sultry summer evening at le Poisson Rouge.
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Cervantes - Queen of Hearts tribute to Princess Diana set with Missouri Symphony / 101.9 - The Wave


With the 20th anniversary of her passing nearing, prominent Missouri composer, musician, recording producer, artist, and real estate executive, Craig Cervantes has released  - Queen of Hearts, Featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, this symphonic tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. This musical dedication was written for William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry of Wales and Diana's grandchildren, Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. A special Queen of Hearts tribute to Princess Diana with a performance of Cervantes original composition by the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, directed by Maestro Kirk Trevor will take place on Saturday, June 25th at 7:00 p.m.in the Cummings Auditorium of the School of the Osage in Osage Beach, MO. 101.9 - The Wave - Kevin Hilley visited with Cervantes, who talked about the Pops concert and how the music came to be. Listen to the interview here.
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Top 10 Albums for June

Yo-Yo Ma & Silk Road Ensemble :

Sing Me Home

The latest album by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble will surprise and delight, with guest performers and imaginative sounds that transform the traditional musical landscape. Sing Me Home is the sixth album by the Grammy-nominated Silk Road Ensemble and its founding member and guiding light Yo-Yo Ma. Available from Sony Music Masterworks. Sing Me Homeis a companion album, developed and recorded alongside The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, a documentary feature from Oscar® and Emmy-winning director Morgan Neville that tells the story of the Ensemble and Silkroad, its parent organization. The Music of Strangers is slated for theatrical release in June. 8 NEW  259 Total SYND: NPR/ATC & Thistle & Shamrock, APM/Performance Today, PRI/C24, Echoes & The World, Sing Out!, Jazzfm Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Seattle, St. Louis, Detroit, Denver, Portland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New Orleans, San Diego, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Louisville, Wichita, Madison WI, Boulder CO., Montreal, Vancouver, Amsterdam INTER: Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Australia Online: axs, CCTV, FilmNewEurope.com, MOVE - Maneater, The Bluegrass Situation Mother Jones, HuffPost, Parade.com, Musicas Imaginadas, allmusic, Bass Player, Wall Street Journal, MusicTAP, Musical Shapes, SONGLiNES, Yam Mag, yesasia.com, PopMatters, Taintradio, Smithsonian.com, Soulandjazz.com, JazzTimes, JazzPolice, examiner, SLANT, Metro, WSJ, Classical Candor, Quisqueya, RootsWorld, Observer.com, Hollywood Reporter, IndiWire
Bill Charlap :

Notes From New York

Playing a melody is an art in itself, one that necessitates experience, intuition and humility. In the jazz capitol of the world, New York City, Bill Charlap is considered one of the great interpreters of melodies, songs written for musicals, and Broadway shows or films that when moved from their original source, become the standards that jazz artists make their own. For his debut impulse! recording, Notes From New York, Charlap has defined and refined his position in the pantheon of New York piano stylists, whose highly influential jazz piano icons include Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, and Jimmy Rowles. Tony Bennett, with whom Charlap has recently collaborated with on the Grammy® Award-winning album The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern, effuses further that "in the tradition of Art Tatum, Teddy Wilson, George Shearing, Count Basie and Duke Ellington - Bill Charlap joins them as one of the greatest American musicians of our time." 23 NEW  49 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Detroit, Denver, New Orleans, Baltimore, Orlando, San Antonio, Raleigh NC, Wichita KS, Rochester NY, Canada Online: Jazz From Gallery 41, Jazz Weekly 26 JazzWeek ADD's
Kenny Barron Trio :

Book Of Intuition

Remarkably, while piano maestro Kenny Barron has recorded more than 40 albums as a leader and countless others as a valued sideman, he had never documented his impressive working trio of bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa, with him for 20 years, and drummer Johnathan Blake, onboard for the past 10 years. That missing piece in Barron's lengthy discography has been sublimely addressed with his new recording, Book of Intuition, a refined, elegant, lyrical and swinging affair of new and reimagined originals and a triad of covers, including two obscure Thelonious Monk compositions. It's the second of a series of recordings Barron will be delivering for impulse! Records, remarkably revived in 2014 by veteran recording executive and producer Jean-Philippe Allard as a division of Universal Music France. 34 NEW  58 TOTAL SYND: VOA/Jazz America Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, Baltimore, New Orleans, San Antonio, Raleigh, Tampa, Hartford CT, Wichita KS, Bloomington IN, Rochester NY, Canada Online: Jazz From Gallery 41, Jazz Weekly, MOJA, Taintradio, SunMusic 32 JazzWeek ADD's
Snarky Puppy :

Culcha Vulcha

Snarky Puppy will release their eleventh album and first true studio album in eight years on April 29 via GroundUP Music/Universal Music Classics. Dubbed Culcha Vulcha, the record was recorded at Donic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, TX for a week, and nine new tracks. The album title refers to how we-the Western civilized world-have all become slaves to Pop culture, consuming as many messages to "buy", "be" and "get" as possible. We circle above and wait to swoop in and ravenously eat or "consume" as much messaging as possible so we can feel "full" and satisfied that we are "cool," losing our sense of self-confidence and self-acceptance as we are. 11 NEW   237 TOTAL SYND: NPR/First Listen & World Cafe, PRI/Jazz After Hours, WFMT: JazzNet, Sing Out!, Jazz Variations, UnderCurrents, CBC Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, Seattle, Portland, St. Louis, Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, San Diego, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Albuquerque, Madison WI, Boulder CO, Buffalo, Raleigh NC, Omaha NE, Wichita, El Paso, Honolulu, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver INTER: Canada, UK, Italy, Australia Online: MOJA, JAZZfm, Taintradio, SoulandJazz, Jazz Weekly, Jambands, GreenArrow, stereoboard, LiveForLiveMusic.com, allmusic, animaJazz, Sun Music, DubEra, JamBase, JazzViews, Metro, Mainline, HOTPress, Rhapsody, bandwagon, The Hindu 47 Jazzweek ADD's
The Sachal Ensemble :

Song of Lahore

"Song Of Lahore" is the latest feature-length documentary from Oscar-winning documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Set in Lahore, Pakistan and New York City, the story follows the members of Pakistan's Sachal Ensemble, a group of master musicians who find international recognition after decades of being forced underground by dictators and religious extremists. Universal Music Classics was enlisted to create not a "soundtrack" to the movie in the traditional sense. Rather, what will be available as a standalone music piece is a companion album to the film, called Sounds Of Lahore. In effect, the album is an "East Meets West" concept project. These songs originate from Pakistan, India, the United States and Jamaica; and all of them are centered on the theme of universal love and hope. The way in which through music, we find the light within the darkness. The album is produced by Grammy-winning producer Eli Wolf (Norah Jones, Al Green, Willie Nelson, Robert Glasper, Elvis Costello). 15 NEW  116 TOTAL SYND: NPR, UnderCurrents Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, Portland, Denver, Detroit, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, Madison WI, Hartford CT, Knoxville TN, Santa Fe NM, Montreal INTER: Canada, India, Pakistan Online: Jambase, The American Bazaar, Slant, desiVibe, bollyspice.com, Variety, Huffington Post, Daily Times, The Express Tribune, The News International, RollingStone, Kaleidascope Jazz, GURU, okayplayer, GreenArrow, Jazz Weekly, Taintradio
The Hot Sardines :

French Fries & Champagne

Formed by bandleader Evan "Bibs" Palazzo and lead singer "Miz Elizabeth" Bougerol, The Hot Sardines have released their sophomore studio album, French Fries & Champagne on Universal Music Classics. The record comes on the heels of their critically lauded self-titled debut album, which was named one of iTunes' best jazz albums of 2014 and spent more than a year on the Billboard Jazz Chart, debuting in the top 10 alongside Michael Bublé and Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga. 46 NEW   51 TOTAL SYND: Radio DeLuxe Markets include: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Detroit, Denver, New Orleans, Tampa, Santa Fe, Madison WI, Boulder CO, Rochester NY, Knoxville TN, Honolulu, Toronto INTER: Canada, UK Online: Taintradio, GreenArrow, billboard, The Bluegrass Situation
Cast Albums :

Bright Star

Ghostlight Records releases the original cast recording of Bright Star, the new musical from Grammy® and Emmy® Award winner Steve Martin and Grammy®-winning singer-songwriter Edie Brickell. The album is being produced by the legendary, multi -Grammy Award winning producer, manager, and musician Peter Asher. With direction by Tony Award® winner Walter Bobbie and choreography by Josh Rhodes. 15 NEW  32 TOTAL SYND: The Bill Miller Show Direct: SiriusXM/CoffeeHouse - On Broadway Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Canada Online: Taintradio
Sonny Rollins :

Holding the Stage - Road Shows, Vol. 4

For his new album Holding the Stage: Road Shows, vol. 4, the great tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins once again taps into his vast archives of his own concert recordings to compile superior performances for release in the acclaimed Road Shows series. The album encompasses some 33 years (1979-2012) yet coheres with all of the compelling logic and narrative force of an extended Sonny solo. Released by Doxy Records with Sony Music Masterworks - OKeh, this recording is truly a treasure chest that includes tunes Rollins has never before recorded and musical relationships previously undocumented. "This album consists of various periods of my career, with something for everybody," says Rollins. "It's who I am, and the music represents just about every aspect of what I do." 7 NEW  158 Total SYND: NPR/Fresh Air, Voice of America, Stingray, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD-Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, Houston, Detroit, Portland, Minneapolis, Denver, San Diego, New Orleans, Austin, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Orlando, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Long Island, El Paso, Wichita KS, Hartford CT, Madison WI, Honolulu INTER: Canada, UK, Netherlands Online: Taintradio, Jazz Weekly, MOJA, SoulandJazz, KUHS, Radio Valencia, Jazz From Gallery 41, Classicalite, GreenArrow, Jazz Views, Sun Music, Alphen Stad, theguardian, Rhapsody, audioBoom, JazzAvenue, theRoots, JazzTimes 43 Jazzweek ADD's
Rufus Wainwright :

Take All My Loves - 9 Shakespeare Sonnets

Rufus Wainwright celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in typically dramatic fashion by releasing a unique collection of nine sonnets in stunning performances by both actors and vocalists. Set for release on 22 April on Deutsche Grammophon, it also marks the first collaboration between Rufus and Marius de Vries since they co-produced the epic Want albums. The performers on this new recording include vocalists Florence Welch, Martha Wainwright, Anna Prohaska and, of course, Rufus himself, as well as actors Siân Phillips, Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher and William Shatner. 38 NEW  64 Total SYND: NPR/First Listen, PRI/24, CBC Direct: Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco,, Houston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Columbus OH, Honolulu Online: AccuRadio, Taintradio INTER: Canada, UK
Michelle Willis :

See Us Through

See Us Through is the stunning new album by Canadian singer-songwriter, Michelle Willis. It's a collection of poignant and intimate songs that together create an astonishing work. Out May 13th on GroundUP Music/Universal Classics, See Us Through is an album of surprises, with many tracks moving from soft harmonizing to grand, choir-like build-ups. At the center is Willis and her stop-you-in-your-tracks voice, made more powerful thanks to her thoughtful, introspective lyrics. 11 NEW  32 Total SYND: CBC Markets include: Denver, Houston, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, Fort Wayne IN, Bozeman MT, Canada Online: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, RootsReport, GreenArrow, UCLA
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