A Review for The Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Karen Robinson
Susan Graham White has no need to fear flying. Her music soars. Rich vocals accompanied by strong rhythmic acoustic guitars and haunting piano solos make this CD a flight not to be missed.
Not Afraid To Fly is the product of a seasoned performer who makes down to earth observations on life and love the main points of interest on this musical journey. The first destination in White's travels is Down to the River, where rhythmic guitars assist her lament of a tormented lonely soul seeking salvation. Then she moves on to the title track Not Afraid to Fly (The Sound of Wings) to tell the story of Amelia Earhart, accompanied by strings and piano. A solid beat backed by a strong bass makes Sooner or Later an upbeat look at a woman scorned, patiently waiting on the chance to reciprocate. White then gently sings us to our next layover with a look at This House, a home with love. Her solid vocals in Who's That Woman show a person with no fear at finding the image of her mother looking back at her from the mirror. Leaving Mom behind, White takes us to A Heart Unarmed, a place where she recovers from the end of a relationship, a lesson learned to lovely vocals, piano, and strings. Picking up speed again she gets involved in a Trainwreck, a rocky ride through a passionate connection supported by a driving beat. Slowing again, acoustic guitars frame her delivery of Love Runs Slow about the rich golden molasses of a lifetime of love. Not all relationships are forever, and only the Strong Hearts survive in her look at modern romance, asong with an upbeat swing tempo and full roadhouse band. "Show A Little Heart" brings White closer to home with a better relationship. The journey ends with A Long Way From Your Mountain, a song cowritten with Tom Paxton. A spare piano part and strings accompany White's rich vocals, bringing to life waves on the coast of Maine and the distance from her love.
The musical instruments are integral parts of each song, never overpowering, just beautifully woven into the tapestry of the story. White's vocals are comforting, melodic, and inviting- a bit like the warmth of Mary Chapin Carpenter's voice combined with the songwriting imagination of Carole King. Not Afraid To Fly could be Susan Graham White's Tapestry.
Edited by Kerry Dexter