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Kyshona's music proves to be most therapeutic

Club Passim, Cambridge, Mass., January 15, 2023

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Music has sometimes been considered the perfect therapy for the blues. In the hands of Kyshona, her musical presentation was, in fact, a form of free therapy (well, beyond the cost of the ticket).

The chatty, warm, colorful Kyshona (she wore a red hat and a multi-colored cape), in fact, was a mental health therapist for 15 years in Georgia, before deciding to give that up for a career in music. For however good she was as a therapist, her musical skills are considerable.

Kyshona has a take charge, soulful voice that was clear, expressive, emotive as she delved in soul, blues, folk and Americana styles. While she could be bold ("Fear" where she sings convincingly about standing up for yourself), Kyshona also channeled her former therapist mantle on such songs as "More in Common," a lilting, well-delivered message ultimately of positivity.

A heart-felt delivery of lyrics like "We got more in common/No matter what you think/Where you been who you are/We got more In common/Than what tears us apart" only underscored the optimism exuded by Kyshona.

Well not always. "Fallen People" echoed similar themes of people coming together after admitting one's faults. On the slow, intense, "My Own Grace," Kyshona admitted, "I never focused on the time/Now I'm believing all the lies/Now I've got to face the choices that I made/ I dug my own grave."

With clear vocals, Kyshona's delivery made you want to listen.

Kyshona was more than aided by singer Nickie Conley. She was a powerhouse in her own right, adding the right harmony time and again during the 80-minute set. Conley was given the chance to shine on her own as well. Kyshona and Conley worked like hand in glove whether on harmonies or backing vocals.

Yes, Kyshona was typically on the bright side when it came to her messages such as in telling the crowd not to bring "burdens to our healing." Fortunately, she had songs and voice to match. Indeed, Kyshona's music was most therapeutic.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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