This is a CD I was truly looking forward too. I had that feeling Shakti Hayes would provide music which connected with her Aboriginal roots, yet had merit for the rest of us too.
Lyrically Hayes does just that, starting with the compelling title cut which is the first song on this eight-song effort. You immediately recognize Hayes writes songs which are no doubt deeply personal to her, and that helps her perform the material with an obvious passion.
Hayes hails from Vancouver, and her spot on www.myspace says she is an acoustic/folk/blues artist. I have to admit the blues element escapes me on all but One Day Papa. However, there are definite old country elements here. A Lifetime Ago has the sound of a country hit 30 years ago when country was still just that, and not rock in a cowboy hat.
The strength of this CD is clearly in the lyrics, in the stories and messages Hayes portrays so well to the listener; an example being Buffalo Drop. It is clearly evident Hayes is an excellent storyteller.
Vocally, Hayes is something of an enigma to my ear. On one hand she has a unique voice, one that would not be hard to pick out of a crowd. However, the pitch is just high enough that I find it a little bit more than I want to listen to for a full CD. This is no doubt very much a personal preference, but then again I am the one doing the reviews.
As good as the material is it won't be a CD I listen to often. That said for those who enjoy female voices in the higher ranges, and that like folk with exceptional lyrics, this is a good choice. Check it out for yourselves at www.myspace.com/shaktihayes
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.16, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada