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Judith Edelman

Only Sun – 1998 (Compass)

Reviewed by Stephen L. Betts

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CDs by Judith Edelman

Cradled somewhere between bluegrass, folk and Celtic music, the captivating and often haunting work of Judith Edelman has earned her a reputation as one of the most promising voices in acoustic music.

On this, her sophomore album, as on her excellent 1996 debut, "Perfect World," Edelman's melodies are for the most part jaunty and feather-light. Her lyrics, though, tend to tell a completely different story. The strongest of the tunes here, in fact, are those dealing head-on with the sadness of war, alienation and murder.

Edelman's delicate yet commanding voice shines brightest on the dark and brooding "Midnight On The Water" and "Coming Home," a pair of gut-wrenching ballads. Comparisons to Joni Mitchell, Nanci Griffith and Alison Krauss, among others, have been made of Edelman in an effort to tag the singer's style. The truth, however, evidenced well on the dozen tracks here, is that Edelman is becoming someone to whom others will be compared in the future. She's clearly a major talent just waiting to be discovered.