Caroline Herring is an exciting addition to the American roots music scene. Her debut album 'Twilight' combines artful songwriting with a voice that could well take it's place alongside some of the most beloved female singers in American traditional music. Herring is a native of Canton, Mississippi, and 'Twilight' reflects her deep southern roots, from the songs themselves to the photograph which graces the album's cover, a contribution from the heralded photographer Jack Spencer. Herring's mature songwriting evokes the rich, complicated themes of the southern literary giants. 'Emma', for example, a mysterious ballad of a daughter's love for her father, could be a Flannery O'Conner short story set to music. 'Standing in the Water', a distillation of one woman's personal struggle with the haunted history of slavery, sounds like something straight out of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County. There's also the inspiring 'Wise Woman', a kind of rural, nineteenth century take on a woman who could literally bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. Most young songwriters who tackle such heavy subjects end up drowning under the weight of their own pretension. Yet Herring has an intuitive knack for staying out of the way as a songwriter- letting the characters speak for themselves, fitting the language to a given setting so that, by the end, the listener is struck by the incredible authenticity of both the songs and the singer. As for how these songs sound, Herring refuses to be pigeonholed. From the classic patsy Cline sound of 'Devil Made a Mess', through the bluegrass romp 'Carolina Moon', and on to the more folk-inspired sound of 'Delta Highway', these songs are as diverse as the southern culture and landscape of which Herring writes.
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