CD Review: Carol Markstrom - Desert Rose

Desert Rose
Bandida - Hitch A Ride - Where Did You Go? - Granite Gap - Dust Bowl Dance - Medicine Bottle - Too Bad This Town Ain't In Texas - Rangeland Lament - Seminole Wind - Love Is An Angel - Kachemak Bay - Long Long Time - Cowboy Christmas

There is so much incredibly beautiful music in America today that doesn't get heard it just blows me away.  I'm not talking about amateurs making a CD for the grandkids.  I'm talking about incredibly gifted artists that work with 'love' in their hearts for the music they write, record, and perform.  Carol Markstrom is one of those artists.  However she's breaking down doors and walls getting her work heard.  She has a very unusual and beautiful voice that 'fits' her choice of music perfectly.  She also has the 'ear' to know exactly what she wants to accomplish, and to do this she uses the best musicians in America.  My very first shiver of incredulity was listening to Charlie McCoy play his harmonica on "Granite Gap," one of the few songs on this album that Carol Markstrom did not write.  I have to get the musicians in this review, they are so good.  Really good musicians can always make an artist sound good, but for me when I hear how musicians play their very best, it is because they dearly love the music they are creating.  Carol has a lot of messages on this terrific CD, everything from the very first song that features a female bandit, "Bandita" and what a story it is.  The really good 'shifts' in the attention of the lead instruments proves very easily what a good time the musicians are having.  In "Too Bad This Town Ain't In Texas" provides an incredible 'swap' of leads from several lead instruments, a couple of electric guitars and a definite steel that don't mind sharing the 'light," of super western swing.  Wow, it is such a pity that the decision makers that 'pick' what the American public gets to hear is so sorely lacking in the incredibly beauty of America's own creative artists. Paul Franklin is on the steel.  Bryan Sutton is on acoustic guitar, Ryan Cavanaugh is on banjo on "Dust Bowl Dance."  Cool!  Mark Fain on bass, Lynn Williams on drums, Andy Reese on electric guitar, and an absolutely beautiful fiddle and mandolin picker Aubrey Haynie. especially nice on "Kachemak Bay." It was also a real treat to hear an old friend Rex Allen Jr., joining Carol, sounding just right as he leads with "I dream of a cowboy Christmas..."  It's glorious.  Wow, what a pleasing CD to listen to.  Five stars from me, and a direct invitation to the Rural Root Music Commission to take a listen for their CD of the Year awards.  Carl Markstrom has a very unique and beautiful voice.  She's different, and that's what makes her special.  She spent a lot of time putting this CD together.  For me it's some her best work yet.  Each and every song on this remarkable production speaks a different story.  You'll have to listen yourself if you want to hear something not only unique, but very very good. - RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President, National Traditional Country Music Association for Country Music News International

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