I Hear Voices!: I Hear Voices! 

Ever since Bobby Kimmel returned to Tucson, he's harbored no greater desire than to be part of a singing band where harmonies rule and everything else is gravy. As a part of 4 Corners with Stefan George, Lavinia White and Jo Wilkinson, he basked in the vocal magic they were able to create. What followed was BK Special. The same group sans Wilkinson, this was more a vehicle for George's folk tunes as well as Kimmel's own originals. While the harmonies were strong, they never elevated to the point where they might outshine the song. In I Hear Voices!, however, it is all about the harmonies, all about the voices; four of them coming together in ways that can give you a chill and make you stop and take notice.

Joining Kimmel are Kathy Harris and Bobby and Suzy Ronstadt. Clear voices all, they exhibit a true understanding and love for harmony. Song after song, they create layers of sound through an array of innovative vocal arrangements utilizing different combinations of voices. Ruth Moody's "One Voice" is a perfect opener, almost functioning as their mission statement. Starting with a lone voice, the rest are layered in with each successive verse and with a rousing a cappella finish to boot.

There are traditional tunes, up-tempo tunes, some Kimmel originals and more a cappella. And while there is nothing overtly spiritual in the material, this album is infused with spirit at every turn. Everyone gets to shine on some lead vocal work as well. While Kimmel's lifelong claim to fame was that he was an original Stone Poney, it is this group he should best be remembered for.

More by Jim Lipson


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