Erisa Rei, Black Ball

February 27, 2013
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Like many a musician, Illinois native Erisa Rei began in the church choir.  What ensued is the “torrid” romance that has dominated her for over two decades. Her recent release, Black Ball, has already secured itself a spot on the AMA charts.

“Sojourn Band” starts all hypnotic, and when Erisa begins to sing, the name Sarah McLachlan comes to mind.
 
On a separate note, some of the lyrics are sheer poetry. Behold the words to this chorus:
 
“The pendulum swings to find the middle / The sparrow falls before she lands / New strings are tuned on worn-out fiddles / As the fiddler plucks their strands.”
 
“Black Ball”, the title track, has more of a rock n’ roll vibe. Owing to her voice, Erisa’s rock is more soulful than edgy. Indeed her voice is so fine that she could sing about a double-homicide and make it sound tender. 
 
Take a listen to the track “Like Dominoes.” The soft magic her voice performs while singing the single lyric “dominoes” makes the word sound far more enchanting than it is. I used to associate dominoes with fourth grade recess. Now “dominoes” takes on a whole new level…something romantic and spiritual beyond anything I’ve felt.

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“Putting our life together / Like dominoes”
 
Does this imply that “our life” will inevitably fall to shit, like dominoes? Could it suggest the inherently fragile nature of life, which is at risk of a tumbling decline each and every day?
 
The track “Be Gone, Winter Long” has a splendid musical backbone, which sets up Erisa’s voice on a (well-deserved) gold platter.

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“News to See” is a bit of an anomaly in that it’s more playful and capricious than the other songs. But don’t get stressed out over the mention of “dying” and “murder.” It’s all in good fun:  “Fat-chance, fancy-pants, with her mouth running all the time.”
 
“Gypsy in the Desert” showcases Erisa’s voice plenty, but that talent has already been well documented. What now deserves mention is the fine guitar accompaniment, including a vivacious solo.
 
Erisa spoke of her musical calling as a “torrid” romance. I’m tempted to disagree. Her album sounds more enduring and poignant than torrid. Methinks her romance is more profound than she’s letting on.
 
Hear for yourself at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/erisa-rei/id264532318

Ray Cavanaugh – owleyesgatsby@yahoo.com

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