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Rebecca Folsom

Extraordinary Days – 2016 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Rebecca Folsom

Colorado-based singer/songwriter Rebecca Folsom displays not only a remarkable vocal range, but great stylistic diversity as she comfortably moves between bluegrass, folk, blues and country rock on "Extraordinary Days." Folsom also fluctuates thematically as well with both uplifting and sobering material. With the bouncy bluegrass tune "Better Times" ("But when I look at you I believe/We can dance our way through anything") and the country rocker "New Day" ("Changed my mind for a better time/Gonna let happiness in, let it in"), optimism remains high during difficult days.

Amongst the stronger performances are "Love As Is" with elements of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Little Feat, and the blues rocker "Burn it Down," which features some of Folsom's most impassioned vocals. The one true feel good song is "Colorado" in which Folsom sings the praises of her home state ("No place more filled with grace/Than a summer's eve in the Red Rocks with the stars shining bright"). The ballads "Low Country" and "Return to Love," which display Folsom's lush vocals, also are highlights.

Folsom is also willing to tackle dark topics. The haunting "For Crying Out Loud" tells of an abused young girl ("A child is hiding/A man is deciding to go to her bed once again") while challenging society to address the issue ("So much wounding and pain/How do we explain that we do nothing about it").

Folsom's pleasant vocals and strong compositions are well supported throughout by a stellar cast that includes Tim O'Brien (fiddle), Nick Forster (banjo, guitar, mandolin), engineer/mixer John McVey (bass, guitar) and background vocalists Sally Barris and Mark Oblinger. Produced as part of a project that found Folsom writing one song a week for a year, Folsom impresses.