Friday, November 24, 2017
Dave Carlock - A Day In The Life
ALBUM REVIEW--BOOMLAND by VENITIA SEKEMA
Originally Posted: 05-25-2012 10:18 AM
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First off, I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of straight folk music. What I like and dislike about the genre is exactly the same. The songs are more about the lyrics than the music and they almost always feature a sparce arrangement style.

Some folk music is so simple it almost strikes me like a like a more stripped down version of beat poetry. With beat poetry, a poet walks alone into a club and instantly fuses the poetry with improvisational music created by a few musicians such as a bongo player, trumpet player and a drummer playing with brushes. Except with folk music, the poet can sing. However the vamping underneath the vocal has the same improv simplicity carving out the room for storytelling. Any Bob Dylan fan can tell you with glee that Dylan often changed his guitar accompaniment at a whim, melodies too. This instant improvisation of form and content may be what ties the two together in my mind.

I found a new album from an artist that I would classify as Folk/Americana that you should know about. For me, I've got to be into the singer and she's a great one. She's also a really solid acoustic guitarist and those skills keep her busy playing regularly in the Michiana area. If you haven't checked out her gigs, you need to. Her name? Venitia Sekema. Her new album is called Boomland and it's a good example of a folk project I can get into.

Again, knowing my affinity toward something large and filled with bombast, this music is a great palate cleanser--what I suspect many of her fans may use her music for as well. Hearing the record in the background while writing the review has a balancing effect making it a great candidate for listens to and from work and sound backdrops to a perfect Saturday afternoon with windows open while sorting out the loose ends of the week.

Venitia lists Bruce Bartlett as her engineer, which was a fun detail for me, having purchased one of Bartlett's books on making home studios years ago. The engineering is solid and sounds great, particularly Venitia's voice and guitars.

The title track is a standout, featuring a little more of an AC radio vibe which I like. Other tracks lean toward some traditional bluegrass instrumentation but Venitia's voice and melodies keep the vibe more centered, which is great.

Her affinity toward blues has crafted a rich soulful sound to her voice, but the blues is definitely more of a color that underscores her style. I'm not nuts about female “blues singers”, so it's great to hear her sing knowing she can go there and shows restraint, opting for a more universal style. I'd liken that to a guitarist who can shred but rarely pulls it out while letting that experience make them the best and tastiest simple player you ever heard. That's what I hear when I hear Venitia sing.

www.venitiasekema.com

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