Music Review: Songs from Along the Way
Bethany’s CD has been out for a little over a week and its been in steady rotation in the Johnson household since it arrived at our doorstep. And so here is my attempt at a “music review”.
Bethany has many accomplishments along her musical journey. She has played her own bridesmaid entrance processional (i.e. playing while walking). She has played in a faux backup band for Kellie Pickler and Taylor Swift (i.e. playing while acting). She has played the Rankin County Barnyard Opry (i.e. playing while keeping a straight face). But this CD – ‘Songs from Along the Way’… this is my favorite yet.
First, the album packaging and photography are lovely. Having grown up with her, hotglueing faux fur to house slippers and whatnot, my first reaction opening the package was along the lines of ‘oh wow this is really a legitimate product.’ It was even shrink-wrapped. But I mean really, I would expect no less. The music though – Guys, it is killer. I’m not just saying that because the artist is one of my closest friends on the entire planet. Seriously.
The whole CD is enjoyable from start to finish. Bethany is rocking it on the violin, and the guitar and piano players are no slouches. The guitar provides a steady driving undertone, harmonic complements come from the piano, all the while Bethany’s violin soars fast and free, up and down, in and out. Little bits of added percussion here and there tie it all together.
The more upbeat tracks leave you with no choice but to tap your foot and nod your head, at a minimum. Those less inhibited (3 year olds especially) will break into an all-out jig. The lively party tracks are balanced out by several slower, more introspective passages. Among my favorites of these is #4 Ashokan Farewell – so much emotion wrapped in there like only a violin can deliver.
This is perfect music to have playing in the background during a dinner party. Your guests will think you’re smart for listening to instrumental music. Other recommended uses: Saturday morning cleaning, airplane takeoffs and landings, and while reviewing endless Excel spreadsheets. Basically I haven’t found an inappropriate venue yet.
So there you have it. I’m giving Bethany’s freshman album ‘Songs from Along the Way’ a big 5 stars for excellence all around. Buy one and see for yourself.