Phoebe Hunt & the Gatherers

Shanti's Shadow

Texas Platters

A few years of perspective can work marvels for an artist. Since stringing along local favorites the Belleville Outfit and then her own 2014 LP Walk With Me, Phoebe Hunt's discovered voice and vision. Credit the recent meditative retreat to India that informs Shanti's Shadow, as well as the singer's roadwork with cellist Ben Sollee, because her second solo disc transcends genre on a remarkable balance of delicate power. Opening invocation "Frolic of the Bees" sets an inclusive, mystical tone in the play of Hunt's violin and her husband Dominick Leslie's mandolin, while the instrumental "Road to Kolhapur" swirls Americana into world music traditions. "Lint Head Gal" rips hillbilly in the complex vein of Abigail Washburn, and the gypsy-flared "Pink and Blue" and pop twist of "New York" lean toward Joni Mitchell. "Take Me Home" and "Call My Bluff" showcase the delicate breathlessness of Hunt's vocals, a double-helix of folk and jazz, and "Just for Tonight" waltzes gorgeously into the intentional off-paced pauses that disconnect "Telephone." Shanti is exploration and discovery, meditative and excited, unfurling wonders at every turn. (CD release: Friday, June 2, Paramount Theatre, with Shakey Graves)

****

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