Broken Wings Heal sings Caroline Aiken
Broken Wings Heal is a deeply personal album for Caroline Aiken. Her ninth recording and has special guests joining her adding depth and feeling to the lyric driven songs. The album is a journey, from despair to hope, empowering as her daughter’s life unfolds from the beauty of birth, troublesome teenage years and then the light. The album artwork reflects this with a bird being released from a cage.
This is not a laid back album as the roots of the music are given exciting textures with funky, rock and twist of jazz tones and power to the whole production. John Keane’s guitar work throughout the album is superb. Into the mix add Randall Bramblett’s horn, Caroline’s bluesy vocals, guitar and piano the sound is never going to be muted.
This is definitely not an angst riven introspective. The opening track Mission of Angels has the a feeling of sunshine and joy with Caroline‘s vocals and guitar and special guest Indigo Girls’ Emily Sailers. The title track, the only one with no writing input from Caroline leaving this centre piece in the penmanship of Boo Ray. Broken Wings Heal is a heartfelt plea many will be able to connect with as a mother sings her hopes for her daughter will reach their full potential, be happy and fly free.
Visiting her daughter in prison creates a song with a feeling of a poem set to music as Razor Wire captures her. Again, as Caroline articulates her daughter’s thoughts she has a message of hope of dreams of flying free. The next track with Ike Stubblefields B3 Organ added to the mix takes the beat up as Mysterious Wonder unfolds. This track has a sultry edge tipping its tone to jazz and the lyrics bubble like a crystal clear stream. This song was originally written in a group of 40 students and staff during Aiken’s time teaching children at a music camp in North Carolina.
Caroline throughout the album like life changes the tempo and feel as feelings and moods change. So now for some Rock N Roll vibes as we Cry Wolf. The beat is infectious and once again it is Caroline’s swampy curling of the lyrics around the guitar that makes this track have a power of its own.
The mood shades into the evening as dusk gathers around. This is a moody darker track with Sax from Bramblett that sets the tone and then the husky singing of ‘Hello Cruel World’. The piano and sax lead breaks are the perfect foil for the track. It is fitting the Everything Can Change is co-written with her daughter Sarah who is at the heart of the album. This is a simply orchestrated track of piano and vocals and has the depth that nothing stays the same.
Broken Wings Heal sings Caroline Aiken on an album that has a depth of feeling, never over introspective always with a ray of hope. The reality can be grim and she is not afraid to address these with honesty and clarity. Broken Wings Heal lifts the mood as the power of music once again gives life a direction.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
Caroline Aiken – Broken Wings Heal
- Mission of Angels
- Broken Wings Heal Boo Ray/Steve Ferrone
- That’s What I Heard
- Razor Wire
- Mysterious Wonder Pepperland/CA
- Cry Wolf
- Hello Cruel World
- Comfort Is Deep
- Everything Can Change Sarah Page Dukes/CA
- Saving Grace
- Butler Field
Caroline Aiken – 6 and 12 string guitar, piano and vocals
John Keane – pedal steel, acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, bass, percussion, organ (all songs but 8, 12)
Emily Saliers – vocals, acoustic guitar (1, 3, 9, 12)
Randall Bramblett – keys, piano, saxophone (8, 9, 11)
Ike Stubblefield – B3 organ (6, 7)
Michelle Malone – vocals (2)
Michael Steele – bass (11)
Gerry Hansen – drums (1, 3, 6, 7, 9)
Charlie Wooton – bass (8)
Andy Carlson – strings (9, 12)
Susan Staley – vocals (4, 5, 7)
Eddie Glikin – percussion, Udu drum (1, 4)
Doug Peters – electric guitar (4)
Deane Quinter – congas (6)