By Chuck Diliberto

Seasons of the Soul
Lisa Lynne
Windham Hill

Lisa Lynne, in her credits, wants the world to know she is a rock-n-roller. She plays many different instruments and knows how to jam. There is only one problem,  “Seasons of the Soul “ is a collection of harp compositions. Herein lies the beauty of our internal nature. Ms. Lynne discovered the celtic harp in her travels, and rediscovered another vehicle to express her soul. The harp has become a companion for her. Whatever she is feeling or searching for, the harp is her conduit to achieve the deeper reaches of existence.

Lisa Lynne plays with a gentility that reflects a soft, sensual, vulnerable part of herself. She plays from a state of  deep affectation. Her heart resonates with the melodies, co-creating a special musical environment that is both enchanting and alluring. Her fellow musicians add sweet rhythms and floating melodies in accompaniment. Lisa Lynne is most fortunate in that she is able to create a musical platform which allows her the freedom to express herself freely.

The music is reminiscent of what medieval bards would play. The harp lilts in unison with the flute, mandolin, nylon string guitar and percussion. We are listening to ancient melodies with modern ears. Something deep inside awakens to a long forgotten call. In a moment we are transported through history to a lost fragment of time. Ms. Lynne is reflecting her soul through this moment, sharing a natural gift. Fascinating music indeed.

For more information, call (310) 358-4852.


Barefoot on the Beach
Michael Franks
Windham Hill

Michael Franks is well  known for the whimsical song “ Popsicle Toes” released in 1976. In the course of his career he has become a musical chameleon, never quite following any one direction for too long. Franks, in  “Barefoot on the Beach”, has discovered how to fit Jazz melodies to his poetic, oft times autobiographical lyrics.

This compact disc offers a lineup of  musicians who favor slickly-produced light jazz with a slight punch.  Michael Franks has called upon Michael and Randy Brecker, Bob James, Steve Gadd and Steve Khan, amongst others, to shape the musical direction of this project. Franks’ lyrics reflect the meanderings of a hopeless romantic.  He offers his songs as poetry, describing meaningful relationships with loved ones, the earth, and all endless possibilities to which love can be applied. He sings in a speaking tone, measuring and caressing each word.  Carefree and relaxed, Michael

Franks is enjoying life and all its amenities. Franks has been in and out of the mainstream more times than I can remember.  His eclectic approach to music has left him with movable roots.  His ability to remain popular through countless musical changes is a remarkable feat. “Barefoot on the Beach” is no different than any other offering from Franks.  The music has changed, yet, he is still the same person finding another way to express his life and art.  If you like music that is relaxing and a tad reflective, Michael Franks is waiting for you.

For more information, call (310) 358-4850.


The Way of the Ocean
Medwyn Goodall
New World Music
The ocean has always been synonymous with abundant life and mystery. That vast reservoir of unexplored unknowns just waiting to reveal clues to the ancient conundrums of our existence on planet earth. In this scenario Medwyn Goodall musically relates his universal connection to “the way of the ocean”. In his search to expand his consciousness, Goodall has aligned his own journey with the majesty and awe that is a constant with the oceans.

Musically, we are looking at Goodall as the consummate musician. Besides playing four different types of guitars, Goodall also adds flutes, oboe, Rhodes piano, orchestral strings, French horn, Belltree, soft korg, and Roland synthesizers, drums and percussion to his playing.  In this assortment of instruments, he is exploring all possible musical realms to define and focus his vision.  The music is light, sincere and somewhat jazz tinged.  Melodies stream naturally from the instruments as the recorded sound waves swell and crash to the marine epiphanies of whales, dolphins, and birds.

The ocean is always beckoning, subtly, as a fragment of one subconscious, overtly, as a pause in the moment of the here and now. Goodall innately correlates the natural dynamics of Spirit, music, and the symbol of the ocean, culminating the three into a synthesis that is the architecture for a deeper order of existence.  His heart is the impetus for this experience, the music is the vehicle to transport us, and the ocean recreates the endless possibilities for all beings.  A beautiful musical statement indeed.

For more information, call (800) 771-0987.


Aqua Blue
Domo Records

Emotions play a strong role in determining whether we like something or not.  Shinji used this awareness to create a connectedness between himself and the listener.  The music straddles melancholy feelings with an ethereal peacefulness and oozes forth with an eerie moodiness that permeates our senses.

We are dreaming of blue skies and sunny days.  A quiet brook effortlessly flows by as wild flowers ripple in gentle breezes. There is a calm serenity enveloping our senses, reminding us what home really feels like.  Butterflies abound in multi-colored arrays, lilting from petal to petal. Life is wonderful and eternal, a core state of peace that vibrates and pulses with all aspects of the universe.

In “Aqua Blue”, Shinji has created a soundtrack to the aforementioned dream. He uses synthesizer keyboards to convey a tonal atmosphere that is both relaxing and invigorating.  Nature sounds are blended with the music to enhance sensual visualizations of the created mood.  I have a strong intuition “Aqua Blue” is the color of Shinji’s aura.  The radiance of his own light has illuminated his soul and his natural gift to make joyous, healing music.

For more information, call (414) 961-8350.


Steven Cragg
New World Music
The passage way to the other side.  “Entrance”, is an opening frequently created by musicians searching for deeper meanings and soul revelations.  The seriousness of having fun.  Whimsically we take for granted that we are the portal to all that is sacred and divine.

Steven Cragg, through a pastiche of musical styles and cultural influences has aurally created his “Entrance”. The technology of digital sampling, combined with the trance-like rhythms of tribal drumming is interwoven throughout this CD.  The result is manic dervish music. This is music that involves heightening and eventual transcendence of our senses. A constant syncopation aimed at releasing our central nervous systems from the synapsing of day to day mundanity.

Cragg has also injected a joyousness into his tonal compositions. He has created a pure, unadulterated form of dance music. The closest similarity is to “Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors.”  The dance of the soul, swirling from chaos to unstructured order.  As if the catharsis of soul dancing was not enough, Cragg leads us into a mystical musical state, replete with sitar, tabla and chanting.  The listener is transported to a refined temporal zone, then the beat begins to increase, and, once again we are dancing with reckless abandonment of our senses.

Steven Cragg has created a thoroughly enjoyable expression of soul travel and realization.  “Entrance” is a lot of fun and is refreshing, upbeat and decidedly happy.

For more information, call (800) 771-0987.

Chuck Diliberto is a resident of New York State. Having written for a hometown publication that covered local and national musicians, reviewing CDs is an extension of that experience. His main interests are spiritual in nature and right living in practice.

Return to the September/October Issue Index page