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Various Artists — Kaleidoscope - Musicians of Door County
(BT Productions no#, 2005, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01

Kaleidoscope - Musicians of Door County Cover art

This diverse collection spotlights the work of a number of recording artists from Door County, Wisconsin; the eleven pieces herein are clearly inspired by the natural beauty and serenity of their surroundings. Every song is by a different artist, although various musicians play and write cooperatively on a number of cuts; most lean toward the folkier side of the musical spectrum, in a classic singer-songwriter vein, although a few clearly break out of the mold and reach out into different directions. Jay Whitney’s “How Can I Say Goodbye” is one of those, a funky, soulful take with its earthy vocal delivery; another is Don Thompson’s “Don’t Stop Pickin’,” a spirited upbeat tune sporting a solid country flavor. Vocalist Kim Waters (of Rasa) opens the set with “The Dress,” sounding very much like an Irish traditional piece, co-written by Mike King and co-producer Pete Thelen, the latter better known for his blues-today website and CDs. Thelen’s own contribution to the set is “Footsteps,” an introspective number with a mysterious David Sylvian-esque arrangement. Lucy Hagen’s alto vocal on the intensely personal “I’m Gone” is supported beautifully by two acoustic guitars and cello. Jeanne Kuhns is a gifted storyteller, as her contribution, “Isabel,” easily illustrates. Other featured artists include Fred Alley, Julian Hagen, Mark Raddatz, and Chris Alley. Co-producer (and engineer for the entire set) Hans Christian’s pensive and beautiful instrumental “The Water Is Wide,” performed on bass, cello, nyckelharpa and piano closes this set nicely. A superbly produced set worthy of attention.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Various Artists

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