"Open your ears to these beautiful women's voices and your heart will open too. You'll be delighted, intrigued, and entertained. You'll turn to gooseflesh. This record is gorgeous." (Lise Uyanik of the Mobile City Band) Stella, a 7-woman vocal group based in the NC Triangle, has released their second CD. Different Skies reflects the singers' compulsively eclectic tastes, their love of good stories, and their hunger for new musical adventures. It is also testimony to the tremendous leap in musicianship and vocal development it's members have made. Two originals pay homage to the ridiculous (fantasy date with a cave ranger) and the tragic (the death of a beloved teenage friend). Other songs include a poignant Bulgarian folk tale, gospel from the Georgia Sea Islands, an anti-war plea with Romanian roots, shape notes from the heart of America, and more. This CD is a departure from Gimme Stella, the group's first album released in 2003, in that Stella has signed on some accompaniment: Robert Sledge (formerly of Ben Folds Five) plays bass on a few tunes and guitar on one. And Ed Butler (occasionally with the Red Clay Ramblers) plays the Moroccan riq on Before This Time Another Year. Since assembling loosely in 1998 to sing favorite songs among themselves, the group of 7 became known as Stella in 2000 and moved on to public performances at house concerts and such venues as the NC Museum of Art, Festival for the Eno, Artsplosure, Light Up Durham, and the LEAF festival in Black Mountain, NC.