Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lost and Found

CD Review

Written, collected, and performed by Denise Bennett.
Available from www.storiesbydenise.com
Recording by Meredith Brooks, Designer Studio, Richmond, VA
$12.00, plus $4.00 shipping and handling

Reviewed by Linda Goodman

            Lost and Found is a CD that combines music, personal stories, and traditional tales to create an enticing sampler of the variety and diversity of the powerhouse storytelling of Denise Bennett.

            Diminutive in stature and soft-spoken in conversation, Bennett seems to grow several feet taller when she takes the stage. Her storytelling is flavored with quick wit, rare insight, and more than a little wisdom.

            This CD begins with three stories about Nasrudin, a wise fool of disputed origin who seemsto me  to be an ancient version of the absent minded professor. Anywhere I Go is a personal story about a trip to Ireland and a search for roots that culminates in the realization that, while heritage can be evasive, “mutts” have their own brand of culture, and that is okay.

            The Lost Child is a beautiful Scottish tale about a mother whose child is taken by the fairies, and her quest to get the child back. She is given good advice by one familiar with the She (another name for fairy folk), and she has the wiles to use it effectively. But will the strategy work? The fairies are a wily lot themselves.

            In Mr. Hunter, Bennett shares memories of a well-loved teacher. My Grandmother’s Garden is a nostalgic ode to a special place that Bennett visited often while growing up. Her time spent there spawned beautiful memories that begat heartfelt stories, like this one.

            Interspersed between the stories are musical pieces featuring Bennett singing and playing the harp, both music to my ears. Her rendition of Robert Lowery’s How Can I Keep from Singing is especially pleasing.

            The cover of this CD features a glorious purple iris drawn by Marshall Roach. The depth of its beauty is an apt metaphor for what lies within. I have waited a long time for Denise Bennett to make a CD.  This CD is definitely worth the wait.

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