We are surrounded these days by so much new music, perhaps in part an unforeseen by-product of lockdown days and an abundance of pandemic-provoked anxieties. Much of it is very good, even when the artists aren’t pushing boundaries, or maybe only nudging them a bit, like an elbow bump.
But every now and then we hear something that really makes us sit up straight and take notice, something that pulls together different stylistic ingredients in unexpected ways that shove through boundaries. And when that’s done by people who are unusually gifted instrumental performers but who also bring undeniable emotional power to their song-writing, well then it’s almost like a lightning strike through the top of your head.
And that brings us to North Carolina-based Stone Healer, whose new album Conquistador is all of those things and more. Continue reading »