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Caroline Herring

Twilight – 2002 (Blue Corn Music)

Reviewed by Clarissa Sansone

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CDs by Caroline Herring

Austin resident and Mississippi native Caroline Herring makes her premiere on the premiere cd for the Blue Corn Music Label. The collection of 10 originals and one cover is thoughtful, straightforward acoustic music, washed in the substantial prettiness of Herring's voice and writing.

Many have praised Herring's ability to uncover the most evocative details for her lyrics and eschew extraneous description. This is most apparent on songs like "Standing in the Water," about the South's uneasy past, "Ringside Rodeo," which describes a housewife's search for meaning through her religion, and the waltz "Devil Made a Mess," part lament, part meditation on love's folly.

"Learning to Drive" and "Emma" take a more conventional folk approach in their lyrics and sentiment, but, in "Emma," you can hear Herring's voice sing "down below" like a swallow swooping from rafters to cellar. In addition to a voice that is at once mellifluous and earthy, Herring has agile guitar-pickin' fingers. She accompanies herself on "Whippoorwill," while the other numbers feature prominent names in Austin music, including Peter Rowan, Lloyd Maines, and John Inmon, the album's producer. Herring has recently curtailed her doctoral studies at the University of Texas to continue her musical career, luckily for us. (P.O. Box 572550, Houston, TX 77057)