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Rhythm Angels - Celeste Krens and Rebecca Folsom
Girls Like Us

Review By Steven Stone
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  Combining two solo artists into one entity isn't anything new. Much of the time commercial rather than artistic reasons motivate these creative shotgun weddings. Fortunately Rhythm Angels isn't one of these ill-conceived musical marriages. These two women prove that great minds can and do think alike.

Celeste Krenz and Rebecca Folsom both have ties to the Denver-Boulder area. Krenz lived and performed in the area for over ten years before moving to Nashville while Folsom has lived in Boulder most of her adult life. Oddly, they never played together until an in-the-round show at the Bluebird Café in Nashville. After this initial meeting they began to perform as a duo. Together they've created a new musical entity that's more compelling than its individual parts.

All but one of the thirteen songs on Girls Like Us are originals by Krenz and Folsom. Both are accomplished solo songwriters, but for Girls Like Us they wrote new material rather than recycle older tunes. The strongest song on the CD, "If I Had A Gun," was written in combination with three additional songwriters, Sally Barris, Diana Jones, and Liz Barnez. Who says songs by committee don't work? This song features dark lyrics and a haunting melody that sticks in your head. Thematically it's a bit like an extension on Gretchen Peter's song "Independence Day."

Most of the performances on Girls Like Us feature both women as vocalists; sometimes solo, but often on dual leads. Their voices complement each other so well that it's hard to believe they've been singing together for such a short time. Their voices have remarkably similar timbres giving them the dynamic synergy found in the best brother and sister acts. Folsom's has a trifle more bite but she uses this additional edge only when she needs more attack. Both are wonderfully clean and pure.

Produced by Wyatt Easterling, who also plays guitar, the arrangements on Girls Like Us lean toward folk-country. Acoustic guitars and vocals drive the music. Hot solos and atmospheric keyboards take a distant back seat to the guitars and voices up front. If you like beautiful music that still has backbone Girls Like Us will be a sure-fire hit.

 

 

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