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Thea Hopkins - Birds of Mystery

Birds of Mystery

Thea Hopkins


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A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Roberta B. Schwartz

Thea Hopkins has a lovely, rich, sultry, soulful voice that weaves itself around lyrics of great beauty. She has the kind of sound that makes you sit up and listen and wonder where and when you can hear more.

Not only is her vocal style unique and different, but her take on subjects well-worn by singer/songwriters feels fresh and new.

Take the moment when lovers part in When the Moon Walked In. Hopkins describes the scene as "when the moon walked/ in that night/ when you turned in the/ pale cold light/ when the moon walked in you sighed,/ I've had enough of what you hide/ when the moon walked in."

In Down to Egypt she takes us to a place "that has a heart/ sand and stone, broken art/ It has no secrets no one knows/ It has rooms, / Where no one ever goes."

The horrible deaths of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming and James Byrd in Texas have been written about in both prose and in song. No one has captured the feel, the place and the emotions involved as well as Hopkins in Jesus is on the Wire. Talented singer/songwriter Greg Greenway adds his expressive tenor to the verse on James Byrd - one of the CD's best moments.

My favorite cut on this well-crafted recording is Say You Will, a simple love song that showcases the beauty of Hopkins' voice. It features Hopkins on guitar and vocals with just a dab of Craig Harris on percussion.

Hopkins surrounds herself with stellar support. In addition to Greenway, Catie Curtis provides harmony vocals, Matt Glaser and Mimi Rabson are on violins, with Eric Kilburn on mandolin and harmonica.

This is music to dream by and to love by. It is music to listen to on a lazy afternoon or a rainy day. I would be surprised if no one takes notice of Hopkins' specialness. Even if you have a short list of must have CD purchases this year, add Birds of Mystery to that list and start singing her praises. Thea Hopkins is a star on the rise.

Track list

  • Blues on the Edge of this Town
  • When the Moon Walked In
  • Western Town
  • Down in Egypt
  • Jesus is on the Wire
  • Say You Will
  • Girl with a Rock n' Roll Heart
  • She has a Name
  • Hello Stranger (by A.P. Carter)
  • Mama Used to Say
  • Just a Soul
All songs by Thea Hopkins except where noted

Edited by David N. Pyles

Copyright 2003, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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