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LaRue, Lisa: Origins

Lisa LaRue is a Native American musician who has released around eleven albums in total including her latest titled Origins, a twenty-five year career retrospective dating back to 1992. She released her debut album Beloved Tribal Woman in 1994. She also formed the projects 2KX and 2K9 although LaRue’s music was unknown to me until I received Origins for review.

On this double set there are some fine players helping her out including John Payne (Dukes of the Orient, Asia, GPS), Don Schiff (Rocket Scientists, Kracked Earth), Mitch Perry (Talas, Aerosmith, Michael Schenker Group), the late Gilli Smyth (Gong), John Baker (Mars Hollow, Forever Twelve), Michael Sadler (Saga) and Ryo Okumoto (Spock’s Beard).

The first disc begins with the semi dramatic symphonic prog of “Kituwa”. Tasty guitar and keyboards soar before softer elements take hold and back and forth it goes. On “Hurtful Words” it is all LaRue as her keyboard work is on full display. The mystical sounding “In Camera” features swirling keyboard textures and fine guitar from Steve Adams. The John Payne sung “Beautiful Illusion” is both tranquil and bombastic but not overly so. With “256 Leagues Above New Orleans” LaRue’s floating keyboards and John Timothy’s ethereal flute evoke soothing images suitable for peaceful relaxation. “Sea of Unity” is another solo keyboard piece and further evidence of LaRue’s considerable talent. Sorrowful cello, lilting keyboard flutes and a Payne narrative give “Lament of the Cherokee/Ruins of Home” a melancholic theme. The song’s second half is a bit more up-tempo with more tasty guitar from Adams, both electric and classical acoustic. Sadler’s awesome vocals grace the mellow and symphonic keyboard driven “Recurring Dream”, the last song on disc one.

Highlights form the second disc include the sometimes lush and dreamy/sometimes heavy and bombastic “Jam Jehan Nima”, the eighteen minute epic “Prometheus”, a very soothing and dreamlike piece with great guitar and keys and the classical/prog/jazz rock of “Lemniscate” featuring the fantastic bass of Don Schiff. The horns, courtesy of Dave Schiff also work very well.

Origins is a rich and varied listen from an artist I had no idea existed until now. Will certainly keep my eyes open for more of her work.

Track Listing:
Disc One
1. Kituwa (4:14)
2. Hurtful Words (2:50)
3. In Camera (3:30)
4. Beautiful Illusion (4:33)
5. 256 Leagues Above New Orleans (3:22)
6. Sea of Unity (4:05)
7. Lament of the Cherokee/Ruins of Home (7:29)
8. Golden Birds Wrapped Within (3:39)
9. Recurring Dream (7:17)

Disc Two
1. Jam Jehan Nima (12:50)
2. Prometheus (17:58)
3. Beautiful Life (4:09)
4. Aspiration (6:10)
5. Sussuration (11:41)
6. Lemniscate (13:06)
7. Just Waiting For (3:00)

Added: November 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1013
Language: english

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