Raining in Yosemite
(independent, 2009)

There is a certain old-time feel to much of the music on Carmea's Raining in Yosemite. It adds a certain feel of familiarity to the songs that make most of them very enjoyable listening. The music created is folk music, pure and simple, and they do it so very well.

The CD starts off with "Circle of Love," where both the delivery and the lyrics feel very much like a gospel song. The instrumental "Dona Nobis Pacum (Grant Us Peace)" is full of grace and beauty. The lyrics continue to be deep in "Swimming to the Other Side" as the vocals come to the fore over the backdrop of the guitar and cello. The mood changes with "Raining in Yosemite" as anger mixes with hope, and as they touch on human sexuality.

The feel of the music slides back towards the 1960s in "On the River" as the mood becomes more relaxed. The tempo picks up as the CD smoothly flows into "I've Got a Girl in Kalamazoo," which also keeps the mood light and easy. The pure beauty of their music in the instrumental numbers is breath-taking, and "The Waves of Kilkee" gives you a longer piece to be swept away by.

The liner notes give the story behind "The Red Motorcycle" and, compared to some of the other songs here, it is very plain, relying mostly on vocals to define it. "Dance" brings the focus back to the issue of same-sex marriages, but it just doesn't seem to quite fit comfortably in the range of the singer. And then they return to hope with "Angels Surrounding You." There is a slight pause before "Long Way out of Chicago" and the tempo of the song drives it forward, with the lyrics aiming the song home.

Raining in Yosemite is one of those recordings that you could quietly put on repeat and let flow past you for a while.

music review by
Paul de Bruijn

24 July 2010

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