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CD Review: Lindsey Ryan's The Divers

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Lindsey Ryan Horne, the best female vocalist winner in CL's 2011 Best of Charlotte Awards, is set to release her sophomore studio album, The Divers. With help from a variety of Charlotte musicians, Ryan finds the perfect soundscapes to showcase her sweet, angelic vocal style. Helping her bolster the music are guitarists Randolph Lewis and Matt Faircloth, drummer David Kim, bassists Mike Mitschele and Dustin Hofsess, organist Justin Faircloth and pedal steel player Bob Barone.

Ryan approaches her past studies of opera and poetry delicately in the vocals and lyrics of The Divers' 10 tracks. She knows when to let a note hang for a moment of beauty, when to allow subtle hints of vibrato ring without being overbearing and when to simply soothe you with her words alone.

Some of the same alt-country inspirations that drove Ryan's work with Sea of Cortez are present on songs such as "Magdalene." The Charlotte native also draws you into the more intimate setting of tracks such as "Catalpa Song," as her voice shines over a sparse guitar-and-bass backdrop. Ryan also takes a jazz-infused journey, her piano work often splashing behind her vocals on many of the tracks. The music's simplicity often allows the words to shine as much as Ryan's soft voice does, but without feeling bare. "Jody," one of the album's strongest songs, balances somber emotions with a tone of childlike innocence, which may be an acquired taste for some.

The CD release party is scheduled for 8 p.m. March 30 at The Evening Muse.

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