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On Peace Street, Vol. One (Various Artists)

On Peace Street, Vol. One, by Various Artists via BWH Music Group is a remarkable long – yet fulfilling album. There are 19 songs on this collection and while that seems like more than enough, the common thread of this album is never enough. One can never hear enough of the little reminders to keep on going, that there is love in little pockets and that we must come together as people for the common good. The fight is never over, and there is light in the darkness. With such turmoil and anxiety in 2019 and the outlook on 2020 seeing much of the same, in the words of Nicki Kris in “Rise” (track four): “I’m done keeping things to myself, I’m ready to speak up and it starts now.”

This album – this tremendous amount of artist expression – is comprised of the following artists and their tracks:

  1. “I Wish I Was Wrong” by The Reverent
  2. “Love Is Everywhere” by Stacy Jones
  3. “Beautiful Heart” by Kala Farnham
  4. “Pretty Words” by Sylvie’s Songs Featuring Amanda Sullivan
  5. “Rise” by Nicki Kris
  6. “Our Little War” by Old Brave Souls
  7. “We Shall Overcome” by Chakra Bleu
  8. “Who Will Stop The Nuclear Clock?” by Leonie Gray Featuring Matthew J. Bonjiorno
  9. “All That Matters” by KatieBeth
  10. “Soldier’s Song (4th Street Version)” by Lakotah
  11. “Karma” by Emily Cole
  12. “One” by Fareed El Boricua Arabe
  13. “Duenos de Aqui” by Laban
  14. “Give Your Life” by Coast 2 Coast Featuring The Fantastic Gems
  15. “Humanity” by Radio Drive
  16. “Song For Peace” by Peter Unger
  17. “The Color Of” by RW Roldan
  18. “United (To Save The World)” by Kate Magdalena
  19. “Don’t Worry” by Jamie Lynn Vessels

Prior to listening, I wasn’t sure if the artists were all going to be American. To my sheer surprise, this album has a plethora of international artists and even artists like Unger, a Christian- Celtic artist. What happens when you have such an eclectic mix of voices and styles can go either way. Meaning, it can be completely disjointed or even too similar in content. I think that’s one of the things that stood out the most for me – the way the songs were ordered, mastered and the final product – BWH Music Group certainly had a herculean task. The order – the vibe of this entire album could not be better arranged. Each chapter builds upon the other.

Speaking of standouts – lyrically the standout tracks for me included Jones’ “Love Is Everywhere” and Farnham’s “Beautiful Heart”. The story behind “Love Is Everywhere”, according to the publicity materials, was that it was written in “wake of the Orlando Nightclub massacre and before the Seattle Pride festival.” As Jones sings “no room for hate anywhere, only room for love everywhere” as a listener I never felt like she was pandering. She’s has calming sincerity. I felt like this song could have been darker considering its subject matter, but her take on the horrors is remarkable. In “Beautiful Heart” Farnham’s use of the piano is astounding. I don’t think this song would have been the same if she would have used any other instrument. Her words are cemented in my brain when she sings (she has just a slight raspiness to her voice) “your life is just begun…in a man’s world, hold your head high and be proud.”

Listeners that enjoy folk music, Americana, roots and even jazz music will find something they like on this collection. It’s worth a listen and gentle reminder that there are still good people in the world.

Samuel Pratt

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