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LESLEY KERNOCHAN —A CALM SUN (Self-Released)

 

www.lesleykernochan.com

 

 

California singer-songwriter, Lesley Kernochan has an amazing set of players accompany her on her latest album A Calm Sun. On combining elements of folk, country and pop her beautiful tones weave one seamless tapestry after another. I also appreciated the fine packaging, and thought that went into it.  

 

Kernochan kicks off the album in impressive fashion. As exquisite folk, country fun lined opener “Les Petis Mondes Sont Partout” is followed by the Louisiana hinted, “Country In The City” (hints of Tara Nevins – Donna The Buffalo) and the adventure dotted, travel spurred “Hurricane Eye”. With her sprightly tunes warmed in layers of pedal steel, dobro, organ, acoustic, electric guitar (plus mandolin, Ukelele, drums, percussion and harmony vocals) the music is most pleasing to the ear.

 

Among those playing you have Dean Parks, Christopher Bruce, Jeff Babko, Dan Lutz, Aaron Sterling, Ben Peeler, Alisa Rose and harmony vocalists Tom Rhodes and Robert Rex Waller Jr. It is a wonderful sound. After the above tunes Kernochan eases into a mellow frame of mind, hence the music becomes more artful, and less hooky. A well timed lift in the tempo, and mood comes via “Blown Away”, peppered with wonderful lyrics it brings something special to the album. Whilst with wistful searching lyrics “The Universe” speaks of her own feelings, and it is pretty too. Some of Kernochan's work needs to be heard in quiet, like “The Universe” with its tranquil tones. Picking up (once again) the rhythm section coupled with Dobro ensure “Love Is A Verb” throws off any shackles that may have thoughts of restricting her music. “The Chocolate Tree” is a reflective worked song that speaks of aspects bittersweet; and the music on possessing shades of a bluesy darkness coupled with more airy segments suits perfectly.

 

In total the album contains a generous 14-tracks, and with Peeler contributing sensitive pedal steel “Wherever I Go” helps weave an interesting story as she answers the call of the city. Some songs though well written and the backing sympathetic it takes something different as with “Old Fisherman’s Song” to lift the mood of the album. When it comes to spare, stark beauty “A Face In The Mountain” would take some beating, such being the deft accompaniment and purity of her gentle tones, other than a couple of more gentle and artful tunes, but even those tracks have a habit of sneaking up  on you. Stumbling across Lesley Kernochan's music has been for me a fantastic discovery! 

 

                                                           Maurice Hope     

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November 2017

1
JW Roy & The Royal Family
80 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,BH,RST,LK
2
Chris Hillman
79 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
BP,FS,HD
3
Turnpike Troubadours
46 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
HM,TK
4
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton
36 pts.
Wildflower Blues
Cinquefoil Records
TJ
5
Eilen Jewell
34 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
 
6
Lucinda Williams
31 pts.
This Sweet Old World
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers
BR,MW
7
JD McPherson
29 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
JS
8
Mark Martyre
26 pts.
Rivers
Independent
FC
 
Tom Russell
26 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
SP
10
Anna Tivel
25 pts.
Small Believer
Fluff And Gravy Records
MG
 
Margo Price
25 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
JB
12
Fred Wickham
22 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
RK
 
Joe Henry
22 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
HVB,PJ
 
Whitney Rose
22 pts.
Rule 62
Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers
 
15
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
HDB,JJ
 
Jim White
18 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
LM,SZ
 
Peter Gallway
18 pts.
Feels Like Religion
Gallway Bay Music
CVL,DHO
18
Thomm Jutz
17 pts.
Crazy If You Let It
Mountain Fever Records
 
19
Kris Delmhorst
16 pts.
The Wild
Blue Blade Records
 
20
Daniel Crabtree
15 pts.
In The Shadow Of His Wings
Independent
 
 
Jeremy Pinnell
15 pts.
Ties Of Blood And Affection
Sofaburn Records
 
 
Julien Baker
15 pts.
Turn Out The Lights
Matador
EZ
23
Amber Cross
14 pts.
Savage on the Downhill
Independent
 
 
Chris Blevins
14 pts.
Better than Alone
Horton Records
 
 
David Rawlings
14 pts.
Poor David's Almanack
Acony Records
 
 
Grainne Duffy
14 pts.
Where I Belong
Independent
GC,RW
 
Jeff Crosby
14 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records

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