A review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
By Sonny Ochs
Motherlode is a quartet of women composed of Kathleen Falon, Marie Eaton, Nan Collie and Janet Peterson. Their songs are varied in tempo - everything from ballads to waltzes to soft rock. If you weren't really listening to the lyrics, you might mistake this CD as pleasant background music with soothing harmonies and nice instrumentation. The variety of instruments is really impressive. Some of the instruments used are: fiddle, cello, conga, bereimbau, claves, piano, banjo, drums, bass percussion, and bird whistle, among others. Additional musicians include Linda Waterfall (who also produced the CD) on piano and keyboard, and Nina Gerber on guitar.
PRECIOUS STONE featurs 13 songs, all very topical and all originals except "Blessing" by M. Brewer and T. Shipley. The group takes on the deeply personal issue of cancer in the title song - "Precious Stone". "Speak Out/Memorial" remembers the fourteen women who were murdered in an engineering class in Montreal in 1989. "Outrage" deals with the pain and indignity of prejudice. Motherlode lightens up by showing co- dependency in a humorous vein with "Co-Dependent No More".
I was touched by many of the songs, particularly one titled "Wings of Song" which is a song for survivors, whatever their cross is/was to bear.
When I first listened to the CD, I found it to be quite pleasant. Now, after several listenings, I've grown to really appreciate how good it is. With each successive listening, I found myself humming then singing along. It is a CD that gets better each time you listen to it, and it really has something to say!