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Sabra Faulk: Acoustic Angel (Self-Released) 

Those in the business of writing about music love to make comparisons; it makes the job easier. This makes it all the more challenging (and gratifying!) to come across a songwriter and singer so comfortable within her own voice and skin that comparisons, no matter how complimentary, are ultimately a disservice.

It would be easy to take the title cut of Sabra Faulk's second CD and make reference to Lucinda Williams. Unfortunately, that wouldn't begin to describe the richness of these stories and heartfelt reflections Faulk has put to song.

"Temporary," with an infectious melodic hook, could be a great rock 'n' roll tune. But with its stripped-down production of just Faulk on acoustic guitars and bass, it's all about the song. "Tell the Truth" and "My Love Satisfies" are two more tunes with a lyrical edge that make this album move. But it's "The Curse" that is her tour de force. Disguised as a Tex-Mex ballad, with co-producer Duncan Stitt on accordion, it plays as a beautiful love song, dedicated to her mom and her recovery from cancer.

Closing the album is "Fireflies and Moonbeams," an exquisite lullaby originally included on a collection of lullabies for New Beginnings women's shelter.

While Faulk plays most of the instruments, she is at times joined by Heather Hardy on violin, Mitzi Cowell on guitar, Stitt on keyboards and Bunny Kirby on harmony vocals.

More by Jim Lipson

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