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Spirited, warm and innovative folk music!
Brianna Neal | USA | 12/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hammered-dulcimer player Jerry Read Smith and his wife, flutist Lisa Maria Smith, bring Read's "Strayaway Child" trilogy to an earnest and scintillating close with the help of keyboardists Maxwell Conrad and Hank Lueck, guitarist A. D. Anderson, percussionist Tony Creasman and brief appearances by a background choral quartet. With less emphasis on traditional Celtic motifs than Smith's previous recordings and more on the artists' own evolving styles, "Homecoming" has a cozy but progressive tone reminiscent of modern American folk music. The emphasis is still on accoustic instrumentations, but keyboards and vocalise add a gentle New Age feel to some of the pieces as well. My mother bought this recording for me during a time when I had, emotionally, strayed rather far from the fold and was just coming to terms with the idea of finding my way back home. It wasn't "her kind of music" but on some instinctive level she must have known it was mine. I am grateful for her gesture with all its implied meanings, comprehended or not, and also for the fact that she effectively introduced me to all the wonderful work of Jerry Read Smith, whom I'd not heard of before. Even today the music of "Homecoming" remains special to me, evocative of a homecoming experience--glowing, cleansing, healing, inspiring and cathartic. "The Strayaway Child Trilogy" is available as a combined set, or the separate components--this album, "Heartdance" and "Strayaway Child" can be purchased separately. Smith's next musical outing, also with wife Lisa Maria, is "One Wintry Night", a collection of heartfelt holiday tunes inspired by the book of the same name by Ruth Bell Graham. If you like hammered dulcimer music, you might also enjoy the work of hammered-dulcimer players Paul Reisler (who plays with the group Trapezoid) and Maggie Sansone."