Want to start your day off on a high note? Put Chico favorite MaMuse's latest album, Heart Nouveau, on your player, and soon enough you'll be dancing around the house with a big smile on your face, in love with everyone and everything. This is Sarah Nutting and Karisha Longaker's best work since All the Way, their debut release, with its two wonderful gospel-infused tunes, “Hallelujah” and “Glorious.” Many of the songs on this delightful album are just as good or better, thanks to moving lyrics and the duo's celestial harmonies, and several are enhanced by contributions from the likes of Joe Craven, vocalist Molly Hartwell and other “friends” who join percussionist Mike Wofchuck in filling out the sound with piano and organ, double bass, guitar and a brass section. The brass (tuba, trombone and trumpet) brings a touch of New Orleans to the terrific “Great Spirit's Hands,” whose lyrics are representative of MaMuse's urge to spiritually uplift: “Life is short and it's our duty to shake it up while we can, to be worn ragged, to be used up by Great Spirit's hands, by Great Spirit's hands.”
MaMuse performs tonight (Thursday, Aug. 13) at 7 p.m. at the 1078 Gallery, 820 Broadway.