Adler & Hearne: PRESS
Entirely Pleasant Folk (FIVE STARS)
Lynn Adler & Lindy Hearne have made a huge step toward bringing folk music back into the
spotlight this decade. Their 2009 album To The Heart is beautiful, tranquil, and sublimely
pleasant to listen to. The stars are clearly Adler & Hearne as their voices are strong when solo,
and stronger when in duet. Adler’s voice is angelic in its tone and delivery while Hearne has a
voice akin to the late John Stewart (formerly of the Kingston Trio and later as a solo artist). It
possesses a world-weary tone that speaks from age and experience.
Unlike the aforementioned Kingston Trio and their folk ilk, Adler & Hearne are assisted by a
team of musicians that bring an almost orchestral feeling to many of the songs. Included on the
album are Byron House and Dave Pomeroy on bass, Rob Ickes on the dobro, Michael Johnson
on classical guitar, Andy Leftwich on fiddle, viola, mandolin and mandola, as well as Ken Lewis
on percussion. Leftwich in particular stands out as a stellar performer since his various stringbased
instruments draw out much of the beauty contained within Adler & Hearne’s works.
To The Heart’s opening track, “My East Texas Piney Woods Home,” is an exceptional selection
to lead the album. The title is fairly indicative of the lyrics as Adler & Hearne sing of a beautifully
rustic setting that they can call their own. The loving sincerity in their voices lends a wonderful
genuine feeling to the music; it feels very personal, as if they’ve chosen to share this piece of
their lives with the listener. Really, this is one of the album’s biggest strengths. The themes of
love, nature, and God run deep through the songs, like the duo had taken a page out of the
John Denver songbook. And like Denver, their love of these topics is positively radiant.
Lyrically, Adler & Hearne successfully tread the thin line between being passionate and being
“preachy.” Even the best of songwriters can come across too strongly when their passions for
nature and spirituality are expressed. But even on the more pointed tracks, like the Adler sung
“A Hundred Years From Now” and Hearne’s “A Celebrated One,” the themes never overpower
the music itself. Then again, this is almost an expectation considering the strength of the
wordplay earlier in the album. “Lookin’ For A Bridge” is a powerfully written lyric with the refrain,
“I’m lookin’ for a bridge to get me over you.“ Just that line itself is so well done that it sets the
bar pretty high for the rest of the songs, and they pass it.
Despite the overall gentle tempo and sound of the album, there are two distinct “toe-tappers” to
be found. The earlier mentioned “A Hundred Years From Now” manages to work up a groove
that’s a bit of an unexpected treat. And with a title like “Hollerin’ The Hills,” it may be expected
for that song to be more up-tempo, and it certainly is. There are not enough of those moments
to consider the album folk/rock, but they show Adler & Hearne would be capable of it if they ever
chose to go that route.
Another particularly striking song is the Hearne driven, “Give Me The Pieces.” The quality of
Hearne’s voice is what makes this song such a pleasant experience. Granted, there’s music
being played, but Hearne’s storytelling of a child who turns to his father to pick up the pieces of
a broken toy, bicycle, and much later his own life, is enchanting and emotional. What Adler
vocally contributes in harmony and beauty, Hearne contributes in power and presence. The two
make a fantastic pairing in all respects, though it’s the vocal blending that shines the most.
Producer Rick Clark obviously picked up on this and wisely allows it to be upfront in the mixing.
Albums this solid do not get made often enough. Fans of folk, singer-songwriter, and light
country music really should listen to this to experience some gorgeous songs. Comparisons
can be made to some of the previously mentioned artists as well as James Taylor, Simon &
Garfunkel, and Peter, Paul & Mary, but none of them really do justice to this pairing. The music
created on To The Heart feels like a slice of life taken directly from Adler & Hearne, and offered
up to enjoy and experience. Offers this sincere and entertaining should not be turned down.
~ Heath Andrews
More Reviews Coming to Our Media Page Soon!
Here's a nice piece that appeared in Mix magazine, thanks in large part to our celebrated producer, Rick Clark.
Viewed by users in over 225 countries, Mix is the world's leading magazine for the professional recording and sound production technology industry. Every week, the editors of Mix review new CD and DVD releases from a "sound" perspective. Click on author Barbara Schultz's name below to link to the article online:
Mix magazine readers who have been wondering what our former “Nashville Skyline” columnist Rick Clark is up to will find part of the answer in Lindy Hearne and Lynn Adler’s To the Heart. In addition to work for satellite radio and occasional gigs as a film-music supervisor, Clark continues to produce the kind of projects he has always championed in various outlets: authentic, soulful roots music that lives outside the country mainstream. Adler & Hearne are singer/songwriters whose poetic, harmonious songs fit beautifully within these airy, bluegrass-inspired arrangements. Clark expresses in the album liner notes his strong commitment to the quiet of To the Heart—rightly, he feels that this soft-spoken duo and the elegant roots band he assembled have no business fighting the CD-loudness wars. As a result, this album sounds refreshingly gentle and true.
Producer: Rick Clark. Engineer: Richard McLaurin. Recording studio: House of David, Nashville. Mastering: Andrew Mendelson/Georgetown Masters (Nashville).
Must Play: “River Wide, River Deep”