Sheri Kling,
Passions & Prodigals
(HeartSprings, 2005)

Sheri Kling comes from a place in Georgia, and I'm not sure if that's why she's put together such an eclectic group of songs, but the mix is one I haven't tired of yet and I've gone through this CD at least 50 times since I started listening only a few weeks ago.

Kling has a deep, unadorned voice, and she accompanies herself on guitar just enough to keep it clean and easy.

She picks five songs from the public domain and doesn't worry about singing them like anybody else. Her singing style is open and free while being sharp musically. "Abide With Me," "Wayfaring Stranger," "Amazing Grace," "How Can I Keep from Singing" and "Skye Boat Song" all favour her mellifluous voice, and even I can sing along without sounding way off key.

If "Skye Boat Song" and "How Can I Keep from Singing" have ever been on your favourites list, there's not a doubt that this CD will just enforce that as Kling sings to you.

Her own compositions, "Walking in the Promise," "In My Garden" and "Shadow of Doubt," prove she's got a sensitive and joyful ability to create everyday songs for people that sound good and enrich our lives.

She's borrowed Van Morrison's "Moondance," and since I'm listening to it in October and we've just built a moongate in the community garden, it speaks in a special way to us in the harvesting season and reminds us of the large full moon that fills the autumn sky during Indian Summer, just before the frost starts to glitter at night across the green lawns.

Her confidence is not misplaced with "Lily of the West," and a softer side of Kling is heard in "Hold On," a thoughtful song by Carrie Newcomer.

A woman and guitar, a voice that sounds comfortable at any table, and a true folk sound that will never get old mark this excellent CD. It's filled with traditionals and original folk songs that, on this CD, always sound fresh and revitalizing to the listener.

by Virginia MacIsaac
16 December 2006

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