Gwendolyn: Bright Light, set for release on September 20, 2011, is a family friendly alt. country trip into the idiosyncratic mind of the bands front person and resident poet Gwendolyn Sanford. The album draws from traditional country, American folk, and rock styles of music and melds these sounds into a unique artistic expression. Bright Light is the fourth album from Gwendolyn and solidifies her and her bands place within the burgeoning California roots music scene. The vocals on the album are breathtakingly beautiful and could stand against any artist in the music business today. The instrumentation on the album is tight and superbly creates a rich melodic backdrop for the powerful vocals while at the same time possessing a slight quirkiness that matches the lyrical content of Gwendolyn’s songs. Fans of country, folk, americana, and fans of roots music in general of all ages should enjoy this album and its fresh and at times whimsical sound.
The albums first track “Discover Me” is a traditional country styled song that combines excellent lyrics and a tight musical arrangement with yodeling and the sweet voice of Gwendolyn that seems to drip with a sensual innocence reminiscent of early Dolly Parton or Loretta Lynn. “Acorn,” is another stand out song on the album that tells the story of an acorn that grows into a mighty oak tree. The story of the acorn’s life is imbedded in the traditional country arrangement of the song and is a fresh and interesting lyrical topic that works well with the music. Track number nine, “Olden Days,” is a song that has a woman yearning for a simpler slower paced way of life like people allegedly had in the idealistic olden days. The woman’s nostalgic dream of the olden days is brought to life through the lyrics and bittersweet vocal performance of the extremely talented and versatile Gwendolyn. “Songbird” is another excellent example of a wonderfully crafted traditional country style song. The lyrics and music make this song above all others perhaps the most commercially viable song on the album.
Gwendolyn: Bright Light is at times brilliant and at other times seems to add songs to the mélange that do not completely fit the overall feel of the album. Taken in its entirety, however, the album is an honest and stunning piece of musical art. Bright Light has something for everyone and is a showcase for the supreme vocal talent of Gwendolyn Sanford. Artistic integrity aside Gwendolyn’s vocal talent would put to shame most of the so called artists in mainstream country music today. Gwendolyn Sanford is a multitalented singer and songwriter that not only writes adult music but has released four children’s albums as well. It boggles the mind that such talent remains on the fringes of the mainstream and the mainstream continues to pump out the same talent lacking minutia. For more information on Gwendolyn or to pre order the album visit http://www.gwendolyn.net/.