HILARY WEEKS, "I Will Not Forget" (Shadow Mountain)***1/2
COLETTE CALL, "The Power In His Touch" (Independent)***
LYNNE PERRY CHRISTOFFERSON, "Keeping Sheep" (Prime Recordings)*** 1/2
The voice of women is being heard loud and clear on the local music scene these days, both as singers and songwriters. They provide songs filled with inspiration and emotion and faith. And while some specifically target an LDS audience, others are increasingly reaching out to an audience beyond their own faith, mixing in songs by other contemporary Christian artists as well as those that are uplifting and positive but not specifically religious.
HILARY WEEKS says she gets inspiration from everyday life — the smile on a child's face on a merry-go-round or the struggle of a young mother as she tries to balance groceries in one arm and a toddler in the other.
But the singer/songwriter also finds strength and power in her faith, and both those elements — ordinary life and extraordinary devotion — are fused in "I Will Not Forget," her third CD.
Weeks sings with assurance and feeling, her soft voice creating an intimate atmosphere that touches the heart on such beautiful songs as her own "A Song to Sing" and "Give Ye To Me."
She collaborates with Nashville songwriter Doug Pincock on the powerful "That Kind Of Faith," which tells the story of Abraham and Isaac, and the stirring "He Is Able."
Weeks also performs several songs by Dove Award-winning Christian songwriter Steve Siler, including "Peace" and "More Like A Whisper," a duet performed with nice effect by Weeks and Brett Raymond. Also included is a Twila Paris song, "What Did He Die For?" — apropos for these times.
Weeks, who lives in Colorado with her husband and three daughters, released her first album in 1996. She received several Pearl Awards from the Faith Centered Music Association for her second collection, "Lead Me Home." This one continues that strong tradition, combining music and message in beautiful ways.
COLETTE CALL says that of all the characters involved in the life of Christ, she has been particularly moved by two: the woman taken in adultery and Judas Iscariot. Both are characters that elicit compassion and emotion — one because she found redemption and the other because he lost it.
So Call is in the process of putting together a theatrical production that will highlight these stories, through the means of a contemporary character transported back to the streets of Jerusalem. And in the meantime, she has released "The Power In His Touch," containing 15 songs that will appear in the production.
The music ranges in style from gospel and soul to pop and production-oriented orchestrations. But the songs are also filled with powerful messages that move and inspire.
She brings in a variety of artists, including Jenny Jordan Frogley, David Osmond, the Millennium Choir and Joselyn Petty. George Dyer is particularly powerful on "My Peace" and "Gethsemane." Kaily Ann Nielsen adds a sweet sincerity to "Through the Eyes of a Child," which also features a children's choir. Annelise LeCheminant's "Mary's Lullaby: Sleep My Child," is equally tender.
The finished production, of course, will provide more context and completeness. But meanwhile, "Power In His Touch" is a collection that offers very real feeling of its own.
(Call will be featured on "Sounds of the Sabbath," Sunday, Jan. 27, on KOSY/106.5 between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.)
LYNNE PERRY CHRISTOFFERSON, a daughter of Janice Kapp Perry, clearly grew up in a musical home. And now it is time for her to establish her own musical identity, which she does with grace and style on her debut album, "Keeping Sheep." The songs, such as "Beyond What I Can See," "Living Water," "Generations" and "He Was Just A Boy," have strong melody and sweet harmony as well as uplifting and inspiring messages. This is one that definitely lends itself to repeated listening.