I was in Barnes & Noble just because. I’m not a fan of buying movies or CDs there because they’re ridiculously over-priced. A perfect example is this Yellowstone: Battle for Life blu-ray disc (yes … I bought it). On my iphone, I have that awesome red laser app that zaps the bar code of books, CDs, movies … pretty much anything. It pulls back the cheapest local and online prices. The B&N I was in charged 24.99. If I weren’t so tired and had thought to actually use the app, I could have saved at least $5 by pointing out that their other store 3 miles away had the exact same show for $5 less. Alas, I had it out of the cellophane before I even thought of using the app. Oh well. Lesson learned.
Another thing I saw sitting on one of the end caps was a CD that was in Amazon’s “If you like ‘X’ artist, you might like ‘Y.’ As I was checking out Samantha Crain’s discography (which is really just her Songs in the Night CD and a 5-song EP), I noticed that Amazon “recommended” Diane Birch’s Bible Belt CD. I added it on my list of things to possibly check out.
Back to B&N. On one of their end caps was Diane’s CD for $10.99. I though, “Why not …?” so I picked it up too. Came back to work and threw it in the CD player.
First off, the difference in styles between Samantha Crain and Diane Birch are vast enough that I don’t see how they’re even making the recommendation. Samantha Crain is as unique as a green diamond. That’s in musical style, vocals … the whole package is a style unto itself.
By way of comparison, Diane Birch takes a page from the soul/gospel/50s. To be fair, I guess the title “Bible Belt” should have been at least a hint of what to expect. But after linking her to Samantha Crain, I could not have been more surprised at the disparity in styles.
Now … having said all that, I will admit that I find this CD relaxing and refreshing. Yes, her style is not at all unique. No, she doesn’t bring anything particularly ground-breaking to the table. Does she need to? No. Most artists don’t. Tune in to your local “alternative” music station to hear the same song over and over and over. 🙂 However, what she does offer is a gift of composition that is well-layered. She has a varied list of instruments that are scattered over the whole CD. Electric guitar, piano, bass, violin, trumpet, Hammond organ, tamborine … some tracks even have whole horn and/or string sections. She wrote every note on every song. That’s talent. Enya does the same thing, although with a much larger arsenal of instruments. However, Birch is only 27. She has some time to catch up.
She could be at home in Nashville, Montgomery Alabama, Atlanta or in Dixie. She could be just as at home in your local church choir.
Here’s the thing I find interesting. This is her first CD. She has a *lot* of potential. It will be a privilege to follow her career.