I'm Overcome is unapologetically Christian country with a healthy dose of bluegrass but also mainstream strains: My Father's Hands and Let the River Flow, the latter of which is Joni Mitchell-esque a la Black Crow but a good deal more upbeat. Alexandra Celano sings with verve and authority within a sometimes Dolly Parton-esque timber, making for a CD that's going to appeal to more than one genre. Somewhat like the great discs coming out of the pristine Pinecastle label, this is a spotless evocation of traditional and latterday spiritual music bridging gaps and leaping over boundaries. She also possesses a very attractive arrangement sense.
At the encouragement of her husband Bryan, she adopted this tack, and it was a consummate move, nor was the selection of Ed Tree as producer and player a mistake. Having worked with Al Stewart, Rita Coolidge, Spencer Davis, and other notables, he knows from melody and talent, lending his discretion to a well-realized project. The guy can play an enticing fretboard or set of keys but also knows his way around a soundboard, engineering and mixing the entirety. The intent was to appeal to Christian and non-Christian alike, and, at that, succeeds very well indeed. One can't help but lend an ear to the sonorousness of the music and earnestness of the lyrics.
Celano's voice is a skylark floating from cut to cut, well-trained and positive, strong where strength is needed, tender in sympathies, hopeful in humanity and spirit. Don't for a moment imagine some of the clunky churchgoing affairs you've heard elsewhere, I'm Overcome is fresh while observant of the decorousness necessary to the effort. It won't much matter if you're as devout as Celano or as irreligious as I am, you're going to like this CD.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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