Suzanne Sterling


As a parlor game, we used to imagine what it might sound like if someone grafted, say, Indian raga, North African rai, Pakistani qawwali, English plainsong, Tuvan throat-singing, black gospel and a host of other seemingly incongruous genres onto the old singer-songwriter boilerplate. That, of course, was a long time ago; many bong hits and fixed-firm asanas later, many have traveled this particular avenue of postmodernism, with varying amounts of success. Sterling, a Marin County-based singer/teacher (and significant other of astrologer Rob Brezsny), must be one of the lucky ones, because this resonant, multi-tracked collection of textural drum-circle chanson is nowhere near the four-jinrikisha pileup a lesser talent might have fashioned. Think k.d. lang doing an Enya with cojones, minus the Celtic lace and plus some interesting tapestries from stops along the Silk Road. In short, a nice journey.