Mae Robertson,
Stone by Stone
(self-produced, 2000)

Stone by Stone is Mae Robertson's fourth CD, and her first collection for adults. Her previous collections have been for children, although according to her bio information, she has gained an audience of both children and adults.

Robertson's voice is quiet and gentle. While it is well-suited for lullabies, on some of the music on this CD her voice blends into the backing musicians and nearly disappears. Belting out lyrics does not appear to be her style, which is fine, because that often distorts a pleasant voice into something you'd rather not hear.

The songs are divided between original tunes and those borrowed from other people. Seven of the twelve songs were written by Robertson, while the others include "You Don't Love Me Anymore" by Lynn Miles, "Love is Our Cross to Bear" by John Gorka and "Lights of Louisianne" by Jennifer Warns, Rob Muerer and Nancy Bacal.

Of the original songs, "Start All Over Again" is the most fun, with a '50s rock feel and Sha-Na-Na-style backing vocals. "Sweethearts Waltz" is a country-waltz combination about living in the moment. "Mr. Tough Guy" has more of a pop beat and a subject about a man who tries to hide his gentle side behind a tough facade.

Stone by Stone is generally a pleasant CD. The songs blur between folk, country and pop and should appeal to fans of all three genres.

[ by Laurie Thayer ]

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