Iowa's Susan Shore waited a long time to make a recording of her own songs, applying the same high standard to her own work as she long has to the interpretation of other writers. "Book of Days" is a mature, varied and challenging collection. From the haunting, understated Appalachian Gothic ballad of "Joseph's Girls" to the erotically charged, edgy "Alive" to the aching quality of farewell in "Shadow On My Shoulder," Susan Shore proves both a first-rate musician and an intrepid psychologist. Dark sides of masculine and feminine psychology emerge. The figure of the Father shows his face in many aspects, as powerful in his absence as his presence - an uncommon perspective. Book of Days also offers fine songs by Nathan Bell, James McCandless, and Al Day. An excellent cast of sympathetic musicians create a sound with roots in folk and bluegrass traditions, presented in spirited, nearly orchestral string settings. With Book Of Days, Susan Shore has created a work of art. The musicians: Susan (guitar, vocals), Sarah Allen (drums), Marty Christensen (electric bass), Al Day (vocals and guitar), Marc Edelstein (string bass), John Lake (guitars), Bob Long (organ, accordion), James McCandless (vocals), Al Murphy (fiddle, mandolin), Don Stiernberg (mandolin, fiddle).