Search - Sarah Hickman :: MOTHERLODE

Sarah Hickman
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #2

Musically, thematically, even spiritually, this two-disc meditation on motherhood and the joys and frustrations of women is the most wildly ambitious release of the veteran Texan's career. After channeling her talents into...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Sarah Hickman
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Sleeveless/Mesa/BlueMoon
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 6/20/2006
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Americana, Outlaw Country, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 852819001286

Musically, thematically, even spiritually, this two-disc meditation on motherhood and the joys and frustrations of women is the most wildly ambitious release of the veteran Texan's career. After channeling her talents into a series of children's albums in recent years, Sara Hickman returns to thoroughly adult concerns (as the cover illustration from the Kama Sutra attests). Though her style has long straddled folk and pop, the richness of these arrangements underscores the depth of her lyrics. On "To a Maddening Ghost," the melodic sophistication and inventive section support a desperate prayer, a lullaby for the sleepless, while the stirring lead guitar from David Grissom (Joe Ely, Dixie Chicks) brings "Living in Quiet Desperation" to a strong, almost triumphant finale. In addition to the eclecticism of her own material, Hickman offers a surprising range of covers, including a somber reading of Tears for Fears' "Mad World," a jazzy recasting of the Rolling Stones' "Mother's Little Helper," an inspirational reading of Peter Himmelman's "This Too Shall Pass," and a rendition of the traditional "Wagoner's Lad" that evokes Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention. The discs split in terms of mood, with despair dominant on the first and happiness permeating the second, as the seven-minute "My Mama's Hands" (with harmonies from Kelly Willis) provides a bridge of generational continuity. --Don McLeese

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CD Reviews

Sara at her best
Michael Hoff | Magnolia TX | 03/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've been a fan of Sara Hickman since I purchased her first CD, Equal Scary People, back in 1990. I had the pleasure of seeing her perform live from her first CD at relatively small venue in Houston. Man, was that a great performance! I purchased two more of her CD's over the next 5 years, Shortstop and Necessary Angels. Shortstop contains two of my favorite Hickman songs; Aurora and Too Fast. Necessary Angels was not on par with her Shortstop and Equal Scary People, but it was still a respectable effort worthy of anyones collection.

I subsequently lost track of Sara Hickmans music for 10 years. I saw that she had started writing for children and sort of left the adult music world so I didn't pay much attention to her career. I had loaded her music on my computer at work and was listening to it one day when a colleague (and Sara Hickman fan) heard her music and asked if I had listened to Motherlode. I had not so he loaned me the double CD set and I listened to it over the next two weeks.

On first listen, as with most music I hear for the first time, the new music didn't grab me. However, over the next several days the songs began to resonate and soon I was listening with interest to the words and melodies. This music, compared to the music of hers I was familiar with, was more brooding and introspective. It was also very good. I mean very very good. Sara, I'm glad I found you again. Welcome back into my life."
She's been holding out on us!
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 01/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"After several years of recording mostly children's recordings, Sara Hickman returns to music for grown-ups. And with the double-CD concept of "Motherlode," she empties out the cupboards of all the goodies she's been stashing for the decade so far. Guests include Shawn Colvin, David Grissom, Kelly Willis and Gretchen Phillips, among others. And, no pun intended, Sara (and by extension, we) hit the motherlode.

Dividing 20 songs over two CD's, Sara offers two takes on femininity: The first disc deals with the darkness, the depression and the desperation. Songs of women pushed too far ("Twenty Years To Life"), Motherhood that seems like a dark tunnel (a somber cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World") and another cover that portrays the ultimate in the female mental escape (The Rolling Stones' "Mother's Little Helper" jazzed up) are all here. But there is also hope, shown on my favorite song from either disc, "Comfort's Sigh." Written by Sara,

I must have faith in my own journey
I must believe that I belong
Though I am weary and feel forgotten
I'll find the strength in my own song
I'll find the strength to carry on.

Even though it is still a deeply sad song, it still offers the resolve of the strong will. In a catalog of many wonderful compositions and performances, this could easily make it into my top-ten Sara Songs.

Sara changes the mood for the second CD, which is more a celebration of that strength. Stretching out musically on "Birdhouse," guests Adrian Belew and Tony Levin (they of latter-day King Crimson) make a progressive and trippy number about remembering to dream. Things just get better from there. The kind of giddy fun that Sara's live shows are famous for pops up in "Are We Ever Gonna Have Sex Again." The disc closes with the Motherhood that is the ultimate treasure in "Your Reward."

I got to see Sara play a show in Philadelphia in the Fall of 2006, and I was enthralled by the new songs. "Motherlode" has been in my CD changer ever since. If you have ever been a casual fan, this CD will make you a believer. If you ever have been remotely curious about why Sara's angels revere her as much as we all do, this CD offers positive proof. "Motherlode" is not just Sara Hickman's personal best, it is one of 2006's best. Play it next to recent CD's from Shawn Colvin and Slaid Cleaves."
Sara's still awesome after all these years
Joshua Smith | CT, USA | 11/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"When I was 17 years old, I wrote Sara Hickman a really gushy letter extolling her 1994 album "Necessary Angels." Even though I had just become a Sara Hickman fan in 1993 and only had to wait one year for a new album from her, I noticed that her previous album was from 1990, four years prior. In my naivete, I begged her to please not make us wait another four years for a new album. Little did I know at that point that Elektra records had actually rejected "Necessary Angels" and Sara had to buy back the recordings and put it out on Discovery records. Now that I'm 29 and have a better understanding of just how hard it is to actually get an album out there, I can fully appreciate Sara's new effort "Motherlode," even though it is her first "regular" album (meaning not a kids album or a Valentines Day album) since her 2000 album "Spiritual Appliances." "Motherlode" is an ambitious double-CD concept album. The first disc explores the depression and misery that women often feel in domestic life and the second disc is a celebration of the joys of domestic life. Trust me, you don't need to be a wife or a mother to enjoy the music. Sara has written 8 spectacular new songs and performs over a dozen well-chosen cover songs (from the likes of Tears for Fears and The Rolling Stones) plus other songwriters who I'm assuming are from the Austin, TX area. Most of the cover songs sound like Sara originals anyway. Sara's voice has never sounded better than it does on songs like "Always a Saint" and "Learn You Like a Book." And, the instrumentation and arrangements of the songs are stellar. Fans of Sara Hickman will not be disappointed and anyone who cherishes female singer-songwriters who can actually *sing* should really check Sara out."