"The five women of HeartStrings only started gigging around town a year ago, but galvanized by first-rate picking and lusty trio harmonies, those shows quickly won the group a strong local following," said Bill Friskics-Warren of the Nashville Scene.
Recording artist Kathy Mattea praised the band after hearing HeartStrings perform in concert with her at her church in Nashville.
"I love these women! Five wonderful musicians who all happen to be female, playing authentic and inspired bluegrass. I love it that any one of them can be found singing lead at any given time. Great harmonies, great instrumentals, and wonderful original songs," she said.
The group has reached a milestone with the release of its first CD recording, HeartStrings. This new collection of contemporary and roots-based acoustic music reflects the diverse country, folk, and bluegrass influences of its five members.
The album HeartStrings features 12 songs, 10 of which were penned by band members-from the lively gospel numbers "Church Building" and "Are You Trusting in Sweet Jesus" by guitarist Bo Jamison to the novel "Love for this Girl" by bassist Marilyn Barclay. Fiddler Karen Pendley sings her own songs, "Right up the Wrong Road" and "Sometimes Angels Cry" and also introduces the haunting new song, "Native Rose," by notable Nashville songwriters Larry Cordle and Leslie Satcher.
Jamison, Barclay and Pendley contribute three distinctive lead vocals, which come together in a tight harmony blend that characterizes the HeartStrings' sound. Each member of HeartStrings makes her mark on the new CD. Playing the mandolin in a traditional bluegrass style, Chris Lewis also has written one of the band's most popular songs, "Love Oh Love," a wistful but rhythmically upbeat contemplation of life's mysteries. Sally Wingate's tasteful banjo playing comes alive in her original, playful ditty, "Hopscotch."
The CD, on the band's HeartSung Records label, was co-produced by HeartStrings and Markus Stadler, who engineered the recording at his Bumpin' Heads Studios in Madison.
More information can be found on the band's Web site
Check out the artist's website:
1. Can You Hear
2. Woman Child
3. Right Up the Wrong Road
4. Cherry Blossoms in the Springtime
5. Love Oh Love
6. Native Rose
8. Church Building
9. Love for this Girl
10. Sometimes Angels Cry
11. Carolina Country
12. Are You Trusting in Sweet Jesus