Sara Hickman is a singer/songwriter from Texas, a place that has been home to some of the best performing songwriters in the country, including Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith. In that tradition, she has written music or performed with a whole host of renowned artists, including Willie Nelson, Shawn Colvin and Marcia Ball. In 2010 Sara served in the role of Official State Musician of Texas. And she is an extraordinary musical force to be reckoned with.
This July she issued the sweet and whimsical CD, Shine. I say sweet as it describes both her singing style and her take on the unexpected joys of everyday living. But in between songs celebrating love, there are serious moments about loneliness and death. No subject matter is too sacred for this Texan to explore.
The recording opens with the absolutely delightful, Tasty Sweet, which looks at the fun and even silly side of love. But lest you think that this is simply a sweet, innocent piece, think again. While the singer's boyfriend is described as "ice cream and honey," the song ends with "do me all over…over and over." Did I say contemporary? I love this upbeat tune.
The Trouble With Boxes is a song that covers a lot of ground. Think boxed in, being put in a box (both figuratively and literally), boxed up…you name it. Sara has a lot of fun with this one, and you will, too.
Human Wish is one of the recording's best cuts. Beautifully arranged with accenting percussive thumps and superb finger picking on guitar, it tells the classic story of two strangers who meet on a plane…or is it a train or a bus? They exchange stolen glances, conversation, even a bit of Spanish. Do they end up together or is this simply a daydream? We will never know. The singer simply replies with an ethereal, lovely "Ah-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooh"
The funky sound continues with Cocky Friend, a slinky, sexy number that speaks to well, you know, the fun of sex. Jim Jacobsen and Hickman have a lot of fun on electric guitar and with a variety of percussive and vocal sounds. But before you get all embarrassed, remember that it's all in good fun.
The title cut, Shine, closes the CD. And shine it does. It is an up-tempo song celebrating one individual's time to move forward and celebrate life instead of holding back.
Shine is a great introduction to the talents of Texas singer/songwriter Sara Hickman. In an inimitable, sweet soprano, she gives us a peek into her unique world of friends and lovers, chance encounters, life, loneliness and celebration.
And…almost all of it is just plain fun. Give it a listen.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.
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