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Leni Stern: When Evening Falls

Guitarist/vocalist Leni Stern offers a travelogue of sorts on When Evening Falls (LSR), many of whose songs were drawn from Stern’s travels around the world. Stern sees the poetry in incidents both large and small-in children fighting over money on the streets of New Orleans, in the birds that fly past her studio windows, in the singing and stories heard in Africa-and she vividly depicts each experience. “Ice-Cold Water, $1,” the song about the New Orleans children, is a Crescent City-style funk jam punctuated with samples of the children, while “Oje Mama Oje” recounts an African story about a poor farmer and the sorcerer he seeks out in the hopes of becoming rich. In the album notes, Stern recalls her lifelong interest in Indian music and her subsequent trips to India, and on “Abke Hum Bichede,” her delicate, Indian-inspired guitar work combines with vocals by her music teacher Dhanashree Pandit Rai to create a piece that’s both exotic and solemnly beautiful.

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