I don’t know Keri.
I’ve never met her.
And I’ve never sat on a lawn chair beneath her strumming guitar and sipped wine as she sang.
But now, I kinda feel like I have.
And you can have the wine-sipping feeling with her too by WINNING HER CD, “White Swan”! Let’s get through these nitty-gritty details first and then I’ll introduce you to Ms. Keri’s mad skills and litany of song.
If you want a chance to win “White Swan”, leave me comment answering the question “What did YOU come here for?” “What I Came Here For” is the title of one of the magical tracks on Keri’s album.
Leave your comment by Friday, October 15th. I’ll do a super-stealthy, high-tech, completely random drawing of names on Saturday, October 16th and announce the winner on my blog and on Facebook.
Then, Keri herself will send you a copy of “White Swan” to tickle your eardrums and massage your heart. Yeah, it’s that good.
Meet Keri Jioras: half fairy, half mortal, and a musical guardian of the heart.
I’ve never written a music review before so I am not sure of the “right” way to do it. What I do know is I don’t want to offer comparisons of what other musical voices Keri resembles. I am going to try to offer you words that evoke her sound and lyrics and the overall offering of her sweetness waves. And in keeping with how I roll, I’m going to correlate a few of her songs to Birth.
Keri emits sound and song effortlessly, with an authentic ease. Her voice is like melodic honey and perfectly balanced without frills and frivolousness. Her heart is clearly embedded in the unclouded lyrics of love captured, held, and set free. Keri’s verses are set to the sounds of acoustic guitar with the flavors of bluegrass and honest folk spun around them. Sometimes you’ll hear a warble or a ramble or catch the twang of an electric guitar. My favorite bits are those in which you hear the picking of the banjo.
This is a road trip album for a solo drive through Monument Valley. It is one to listen to while curled next to a mug of hot cocoa on a blustery day. If you like beer, I’ll bet it’s like a cold beer sweating on the banks of a hidden river in summer. “White Swan”, Keri’s first full-length album, is a tribute to the great mountains of memories that each of us hold deep within.
The easy and sweet sounds of early labor – that time of embarking on the great unknown – are echoed in Keri’s lilting ode “Sweet Misery”. This song includes echos of feminine honky tonk with a mix of bluesy folk. The yearning guitar in the background only adds to the sentiments of Keri’s lyrics: “We all want the same, to be loved, and to love, and that there’s no shame”.
The album opens with “All I Want” , a crooning request interspersed with the prayer of an upright bass being bowed. It is in the minor-chord harmonies of this rhythmic bluegrass waltz that the disconcerting feelings of the Transition stage of labor are shadowed. Those moments in labor when walls are torn down, and vulnerabilities exposed, and all you can relay on is found within yourself. In Transition, you have no choice but to trudge on. Keri even sings: “I feel you now, so deep inside, I won’t let go, I won’t hide”.
“Come Home to Me” is akin to a modern day do-wop about pining love. A song to be alone with and get drunk to, nodding your head and swaying the entire time. If you adore a good banjo, then this is your ditty.
The hauntingly beautiful sounds of “Quiet” are indeed resonated in Keri’s soft voice and pure lyrics: “Build me up, now I’m breaking down”. The song ends with a unique and striking musical interpretation of a heartbeat.
Keri’s skill for songwriting is clear in the soul-infused ballad “What I Came Here For”. A message about breaking free, Keri tells a tale about blossoming into full potential with: “I want to run, run far away, never look back, I don’t want to stay, I don’t want to hide myself anymore, I just want to be what I came here for”. That was me, over three years ago, sitting at a cubicle starting out of four corners of glass. I would have gladly broken off the heels of my stilettos to run far, far away. Keri’s song would have been my anthem.
Hands down, the title track “White Swan” showcases her effortless and diaphanous vocal talent and her ability to be Mistress of the Verse. This is the aria where you can hear Keri smiling. And, if you want to talk Birth, it would be the music-box lullaby to swim in after your sweet baby arrives in your soft arms. “White Swan” is a gorgeous serenade that is evocative of moonbeams and the stillness of spirit. You will listen over and over to this one, as Keri paints you and a new, moving image every time.
Here’s the thing: Keri is tender and genuine and doesn’t try too hard. At least, that’s what I hear in her music and what resonates in my bones through her lyrics. Her songs are imbued with love, and surrender, and the price of holding too tightly to that which can’t be ours. She’s a good one, this Keri, and I hold her up in the abundant light that she creates with notes and tones and strums and words.
Check her out on Facebook (Keri Jioras Moore) to give her props.
And leave me that comment to WIN her musical creation- her own birth song – “White Swan”.