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Sheri Hixon: Press

~Review

A lot of people go through life convinced that they that should have been born 20 or 30 years arlier. Sheri Hixon could be forgiven if she felt that way. After listening to HIxon's very good debut CD Life Stories, I'm convinced she'd be a star if this were 1971 or even 1981 rather than 2011. And I hope that's not taken to mean that the songs on Life Stories are dated. It's just the way that the music industry has evolved in the last couple of decades leaves little room for the kind of maturity and refinement listeners will hear on Life Stories.

The Minneapolis based vocalist, lyricist and multi-instrumentalist wrote songs and played them at home at ungodly times of day. One day, her husband heard one of Hixon's creations, and told the musician that he liked the song. He thought the tune was something Hixon heard on the radio. Hixon told him that she wrote the song, and he encouraged his wife. That piece, the country flavored "5 a.m.," tells the story of a young and growing family separated by war. "5 a.m." begins with a husband receiving his deployment papers. The balance of the song takes the form of a letter from the wife to her deployed husband. Hixon paints a picture that allows the listener to visualize her sending an e-mail filled with recollections of the last time they touched and sharing news about how quickly their year old son has grown.

Still, Hixon's more Patti Austin than Patty Loveless, and she showcases her jazz, pop and R&B chops throughout Life Stories. Songs such as "Come On Home" showcase Hixon's skill as a lyrical storyteller and a vocal stylist who knows how to use intonation and phrasing to convey vulnerability. The song "Hold My Heart" deals with the opposite emotion. This track features an arrangement that has a Burt Bacharach aura. "Hold My Heart" tells the story of a woman who ends a relationship with an unfaithful lover. The arrangement for this ballad has a mournful feel and HIxon's mature vocals convey the pain of discovery, the anger and realization that she must make the painful decision to let this man go. The hook in which Hixon sings "pack your bags and leave/I'll need some time to grieve/then I'll be moving on to someone who'll hold my heart/the pain will go away/and I'll forget the day/you threw away my heart like you planned it from the start" while engaging in a call and response with a mournful trumpet drives home the reality that this relationship is dead. Both "Come On Home" and "Hold My Heart" stand out as tunes that listeners will find themselves playing repeatedly. They are the strongest of a very respectable group of tunes.

Hixon represents the kind of craftsmanship that listeners used to take for granted. It's kind of hard to find that kind of refinement in the mainstream, which makes it that much sweeter when records like Life Stories come to my attention. Highly Recommended.



Read more: Life Stories | SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews

Artist Interview~

"Sheri Hixon is a throwback to another era of singers, singer-songwriters from the sixties where you could just soak in the music and bathe in the luxurious vocals."

...read the entire interview by clicking the link below.

 

~Review

A wonderful debut!

The Internet is a fantastic source for discovering new artists, and believe me, this is a special one. Sheri Hixon comes from Minneapolis, Minnesota and started writing & singing songs at her fifth anniversary. But she didn’t take it serious. In 2005, while playing a few chords at the piano and singing, her husband asked her: “whose song is that, it sounds good.” When she confessed it was hers, it was the beginning of composing a lot more songs, in different genres. Last year she released this album, her debut. She conceptualized and composed the songs, wrote the lyrics, sang and produced them. She plays the flute as well. Her sensual, seductive sound and arrangements are really surprising. Sheri hears the instrumental compositions and lyrics in her mind, and she hopes that we like them as much as she does. I’m totally won over. Sheri was influenced by a number of artists like Barbra Streisand, Karen Carpenter, Sade, Barry Manilow, Mariah Carey, the list goes on. The opener ‘Come On Home’ is jazzy relaxed soul, while ‘What Are We Gonna Do?’ is a little bit faster and can be categorized as “adult contemporary”. Sounds really professional! With ‘Try Again’ we’re into an intimate ballad, and it sounds so nice! ‘5 a.m.’ continues in that direction, followed by ‘Rain’, which arrangement makes me think of Burt Bacharach. And that’s a compliment! The tempo goes up with ‘Give In’, a danceable song, who because of it’s arrangements make me think of the late Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra. On ‘New Day’ Sheri returns to a ballad, while ‘Naturally’ comes along softly. ‘Hold My Heart’ is in the same vein, with a wonderful refrain. Sheri closes with the ballad ‘Real Thing’. Sheri proves that she can compose strong ballads, and I expect a promising future. “Sheri, your music moves me in a positive way! I’m amazed by the songs on your debut. You sound so professional and emotional. I’m glad I get to know you, and praise your album.” - (english translation)

Patrick Van de Wiele    

~Review

"Sheri has a rich soulful voice and she puts it to work singing heartfelt Life Stories... we hear Hixon embracing a formula for success." Read more on page 25 of the O's Place Jazz Newsletter - Fall 2010

"Sheri Hixon...from Minneapolis, USA!...contemporary jazz songstress, flutist, composer, and songwriter!... captivating, superb inclination, poised, and engaging!"