Nearly three years ago, I met a woman named Carolyn Southworth. She and her husband, Ron, came to town for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints general conference.
They gave me a CD of Carolyn's piano music, "At the End of the Day."
At first I expected a church-oriented CD, but instead, after talking with them, I realized that the music was what I like to call contemporary instrumental.
Other contemporary instrumentalists I listen to include Suzanne Ciani, David Lanz and the guitar and woodwind duo Tingstad & Rumbel.
To my surprise, Southworth knows Nancy Rumbel and had her play on the album, which is one of my favorites to this day.
Well, Southworth has released a new album titled "The Lullaby Album."
This two-CD release, by Southworth and her daughter Jennifer Thomas, reminds me of David Lanz's "Skyline Firedance" because one disc is solo piano versions of songs and the other disc features the same piano songs with an orchestral arrangement.
And to tell you all the truth, "The Lullaby Album," which features traditional, pop and original melodies, is quite good.
Southworth said the album came about after Thomas, also a recording artist who released her debut CD "Key of Sea" in 2007, had her first child. The baby had difficulty falling asleep. So Thomas would play the piano to calm her young boy down.
The sessions gave Thomas the idea to do an album of lullabies, and she asked her mother to make the project a joint venture.
Southworth's heartfelt arrangements on tracks such as "Sweet Dreams," "All the Pretty Little Horses," "Dream Weaver" and "All Through the Night" intertwine flawlessly with Thomas' tracks that include "Brahms' Lullaby," her own "Dancing on the Clouds," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and Billy Joel's "Goodnight, My Angel."
Award-winning vocalists Jillian Goldin and Lori Cunningham add their touches to some of the tracks, and the orchestration on the songs "Dream Weaver," "Twinkle Twinkle...," "Old Scottish Lullaby" and "Unseen Angel," by Emmy Award-winning pianist Jace Vek, is flawless.
Grammy Award-winner Paul Speer, who, in addition to his solo works, has recorded albums with Lanz, engineered and mixed "The Lullaby Album."
Two songs caught my attention. The first was the LDS Church Primary song "I Am a Child of God," which, I must say, is my mother's favorite Primary song. Southworth's arrangement will probably make my mom cry.
The second is "Unseen Angel." Southworth said the song was inspired by an incident in which her friend was rushed to the hospital suffering from multiple organ failure. Through faith and the efforts of paramedics and doctors, her friend, to the doctors' amazement, made a miraculous full recovery.
"The Lullaby Album" is definitely a keeper for me.