New & Overdue
Kansas transplant singer-songwriter Charisse Kahler has recorded her third and strongest CD to date. 'New and Overdue' includes material written during her 2-1/2 years in Tucson and newer material written after returning to Kansas. A true Americana collection, uncluttered with just 6 and 12 string guitar, and a recently acquired 1928 Gibson mandolin for instrumentation. Steve Kahler added lead parts to 'This Ring', and a beautiful Spanish-style guitar to 'Across The Border'. (Across the Border was a Winfield Song Showcase winner in 2005.) This past weekend (October 14th,)Charisse won first place at the 59th Annual Ozark Folk Festival Song Contest with Blue Factory Hill, Useful Is, and Across The Border!!! BIG NEWS!! My song Across The Border WON THE WOODY GUTHRIE FESTIVAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION FOR 2008!!! Blue Factory Hill won an honorable mention at the same contest! Notes on the songs: 1. Blue Factory Hill (The Ballad of Jimmy Burdine) - Written from the perspective of the son of textile mill workers in New York State's Hudson Valley during the '50s when most of the mills moved south due to cheaper non-union labor. Many of the small towns in upstate New York never recovered, and those who couldn't move from the area suffered in poverty. Feedback to date? 'Haunting', and 'evocative'. An Arkansas songwriter wrote me that I had written the story of his life - the details were uncanny. And his name is Jimmy. My favorite song from the CD. 2. Useful Is - A song about growing older - and stronger - through life's wear and tear, metaphorically related in the lifespan of a beloved old shirt. 3. Day Lily - An upbeat tune about taking a chance. 4. Baby, I Just Deliver (I Don't Make The News) A sly blues tune written from the perspective of your newspaper delivery person.... 5. This Ring - Steve asked what kind of engagement ring I wanted, and I said an old 'basket-style' ring - the type you see on the east coast that have been handed down through the family, and were made in Europe. We found that ring, and I was intrigued with where it might have been, and for whom it was originally designed. Hence the song. Some really lovely second guitar work here by Steve. 6. Moon Over Luzerne - A ballad recalling a memory from a long time ago with the message that appearances may be deceiving. 7. Closer To The Bone - I think I must have been channeling Warren Zevon, or possibly Randy Newman in this biting description of a very disarming person. 8. Cry For Love - A relationship song with hope based on faith. 9. Cry, Baby, Cry - We all know at least one person that courts disaster, and then wonders why their life is a mess... Don't let them suck the emotional lifeblood out of you! 10. Across The Border - Several years in Tucson provided me with a firsthand look at the immigration issue. This song is an observation not a political statement. Uh, well, not entirely. You can't help but feel something for people who so want to live in the United States that they are willing to die to get here. It was an everyday occurrence in Tucson to hear about people that died trying to come across. Stunningly beautiful lead guitar by Steve that truely makes this song come alive. 11. Balloon Song - An upbeat, jazzy inspirational song about feeling sorry for yourself, but then taking stock and realizing what a great life you have, how fortunate you've been, and how incredibly blessed you are.