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CD Review: Sharon Klein

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Sharon Klein

The Way Back Home
(Music Without Walls Records, 2009)


An enthrallment with world cultures, travel, and indigenous music has coerced Sharon Klein into stepping away from the commercial music world to arrange, record, and produce this heartfelt, thought-provoking, 11-track debut CD. She’s adept in capturing the heartache of the human race in songs brimming with imagery—a pensive day in Palestine, an imaginary life in Mexico, a war-ravaged Afghanistan, a lullaby to the dearly departed, the wonder of wanderlust as America tugs her back. Recorded in Tel Aviv, Woodstock, and Newburgh, The Way Back Home employs such local lights as Todd Guidice, Ross Rice, Bob Dylan/Levon Helm sideman Larry Campbell, and four-time Grammy Award-winning Glen Velez while introducing numerous exotic, acoustic instruments that would be unfamiliar to the average listener—riqq, baglama, zarb, cajone. Klein commands various guitars and works all vocals, sometimes layering her voice into a compelling choir.

Musically mellow, Klein’s folky, singer-songwriter mode may appeal to fans of Paula Cole or Bar Scott; however, her sound is uniquely her own. Though her words are overwhelmingly melancholy, the music strays from the somber. Most of these tunes are upbeat—from the jazzy stylings of “Not Far Away” and the Celtic sound of the instrumental “Winter Light” to the Middle Eastern tinges of “Noura” and “City of Refuge.” Klein comes full circle as the final, title track sees her safely returned to her Hudson Valley home. www.sharonkleinmusic.com.

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