FAME Review: Bernice Lewis - She Undoes
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Bernice Lewis - She Undoes

She Undoes

Bernice Lewis

Sanctuary Records © 2006

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Roberta B. Schwartz
(rschwart@bowdoin.edu)

Just hearing Bernice Lewis's name brings a smile to my face. I love her music, which celebrates the kind of everyday events—both ordinary and extraordinary—that we all experience and can relate to. Family, friends, love and traveling to special places close to the heart occupy Lewis and her music.

The CD opens with a love song to Lewis's child, called She Undoes. That lovely, shimmering quality to her voice is beautifully suited to this tune. If a stone skipping along the water's edge had a voice, I think it would sound like this. I love Will Barrow's gentle accompaniment on keyboards and Glen Caruba on percussion.

Wonder of My World is an unabashed love song. But what this one has that others do not is a duet with the incomparable Cliff Eberhardt. It has passion and grit, and movingly describes the deep love that many years of caring and partnership bring.

Ruth and Ammy is a wonderful story song about the friendship of two British girls traveling the roads across the world together. The lyrics are beautiful:

We've seen Orion upside down
Been alone at twilight on the streets of Cape Town
Drove the Nullabor for miles and miles
Just to watch the Southern Cross roll by
And I never sang like I sang that night
For Ruth and Ammy

And, just when you think you've pegged Lewis as one of those serious girl singers, she zaps you with her twinkle in the eye sense of humor by describing her trip with the aliens in Alien National Anthem, and paints herself as troublemaker in her tongue in cheek charmer, Worse.

The CD closes with a gorgeous cover of Joni Mitchell's A Case of You, with a slightly jazzy edge and the accompaniment of Charlie Chadwick on bass.

She Undoes is a beautiful CD to listen to. Each song paints a picture of an emotion or a moment in time in striking colors. The sparkling tones of Lewis's voice bring you close and draw you in time and again, and leaves you wanting for more. This recording is treasure trove of beautiful tunes sung in the inimitable voice of Bernice Lewis. It's an essential addition to any music lover's collection.

Track List:

  • She Undoes
  • Good Kind of Love
  • Where Did the Country Go
  • Wonder of My World
  • Ruth & Ammy
  • Asheville
  • Edge of the Roof
  • Anasazi Girl
  • Silvery Moon
  • Alien National Anthem
  • Colorado Blue
  • Worse
  • A Case of You (Joni Mitchell)
All songs written by Bernice Lewis except where noted.

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
 
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