There was historically a close relationship between blues and spiritual music, and Robin O'Herin makes the connection tangible on 'The Road Home', her second CD. O'Herin calls the music that straddles the blues/gospel divide 'holy blues', as good a term as any for the rootsy but serene music on her second CD, the follow-up to her debut, 'Red, White and Blues.' the all-acoustic CD is mostly an intimate solo affair featuring O'Herin's deft guitar playing and soulful vocals, but a few Berkshire musicians lend a hand, including pianist Peter Schneider, bassist Dan Broad, percussionist Terry Hall and vocalists Vikki True, Lisa Kantor and LuAnn Herring. -- Seth Rogovoy, The Beat, 11-21-03 The Road Home is subtitled 'Holy Blues And Gospel', and like Red, White and Blues you get a mixture of O'Herin's traditional influences on both originals and covers. Blind Willie Johnson was one of O'Herin's major influences, so we are treated to three songs associated with the master; the intoxicating intimacy of her vocals meshing seamlessly with her slide on a haunting Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning and God Don't Never Change, and adding plaintiveness laced with grit on Nobody's Fault But Mine, and Mississippi John Hurt's Glory, Glory. Wayfaring Stranger reminds me of the work of Linda Tillery, O'Herin's clear and evocative tone and richly melodic harmonies underpinned by Dan Broad's reverberating bass lines and Terry Hall's finger popping percussion; I Am A Pilgrim has a jug-band feel to it's rhythms accentuated by Schneider's jaunty piano, LuAnn Herring's reverential harmonies providing an intimate counterpoint; whilst Blessed Are They comes replete with some beautifully understated hypnotic slide. A haunting acapella rendition of Guide me O Great Jehovah, and two lilting renditions of Psalm 23 (one vocal, one instrumental) are further highlights of this fine set. --Mick Rainsford, The Blues in Britain, 12-03 The first time I heard the songs of Blind Willie Johnson I fell in love with slide guitar and holy blues. Most of the music on this CD is pre-gospel gospel. It is roots music, pure and simple. It includes blues, folk, gospel, Appalachian mountain and original tunes. It is music that one way or another has reached deep within my soul and touched me. As it pours back out, I hope that it will likewise touch you. It's been a long and winding road, but it feels like The Road Home. God Bless and thanks for listening! Robin O'Herin Robin is working on a new gospel CD to be followed by a new blues and originals CD. NOTES: Robin specializes in historically rich, often interactive concerts that include original and traditional American music, for schools, libraries and small listening rooms. Her concerts are warm, affirming experiences she shares with the audience. Robin was a finalist in the 2006 Memphis Blues Challenge. She played in the Tropea Blues Festival in Trope Italy in September '06. She was the headlining act in the Resophonic Blues Festival in Pilzen, CZ. in '05. She opened for the Doobie Brothers in Pittsfield, MA. and for Vance Gilbert and Michael Powers in Sept 04. Her arrangement of 'Old Country Rock' and her original 'Everhopeful' were used in the soundtrack for the PBS '2005 Roadtrip Nations' Series (episode 4). She has served as song leader in several churches and led a traditional gospel choir. Robin has performed Appalachian gospel, blues and original music throughout New England in churches, coffee houses and festivals.
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