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The Light Within by Juliet Lyons
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 5/23/2019
A rare panacea of musical delight and bliss
There are occasions when you are working away at something and from the far reaches of the room you hear something quite amazing, so much so that you stop what you’re doing and ask just “what it is that I am listening to?” This is exactly what happened to me the other day, when I heard my wife listening to The Light Within by Juliet Lyons and now here I am reviewing the album, how lucky I am?
This beautiful sojourn within music starts with the first track entitled Lokah Samastah; this piece features the talents of Rupesh Menon and is a beautifully fluent and uplifting offering that is simply the perfect way to start an album of this style and content.
I have heard it said that listening to Lyons is like listening to the angels calling across the great galactic divide, this would appear to be so, especially when you literally bathe in this next piece called Om Shanti. Of course a very well-known song in new age circles, but this is one that stands out, not only for its multi-instrumental nature, but the sublime class of Juliet Lyons amazing vocal range and harmonic sensitivities.
At nearly seven and a half minutes Flow is the longest offering off the album and gives us, an opportunity to just be, to relax totally in a pool of harmonic bliss. Those gentle but rhythmic Tabla’s drive the journey and the Sitar creates such a sublime sense of oneness all around us. The floating nature of the track and the choral brilliance of Lyons, created for me my personal favourite track off the album, so just, flow!
From flow, to Calm, now here we have something fresh, new and exciting, the lyrics are quite emotive and reminds me of my past, when my wife would say to me, just breath, its ok, be calm. I think personally this should be released as a single, I am pretty certain it would be a massive hit. The vocals are so touching and beautifully delivered that it truly moves the soul; the percussive beat is modern and incredibly crisp, again another favourite of mine.
The piano leads us into a really gentle instrumental offering now called Dawning Equilibrium. The delicacy of this piece is pure tranquillity on a bed of freshly grown serenity. The soothing tones of this multi-instrumental composition is indeed perfectly balanced in all ways, and leaves the listener with a sense of emotional bliss, one that raises the energies as it goes but always retaining that much needed equilibrium.
I had been looking forward to this track, it reminds me of that time of day in the very early hours of the morning, just as the sunrises and humanity is still largely sleep, and it’s called Stillness. Juliet Lyons has a voice that seems to caress your senses with the ease of a white dove taking flight. The serene dimension that this piece manifests is well worth spending a lot of time in; I also have to mention the strings within this offering, as they are so very endearing to the musical palette.
As we move forever onward into this new realm of angelic music, we come across a composition called Eternal Now. Note first the foundations created by the dreamy keyboards, and then a subtle acoustic guitar joins the amazing Ron Korb on flute for a simply breath-taking opus of sound. The mantra is the now, something each and every day I align myself with, after all what else is there other than this eternal now? The balance and positivity of this song is an anthem for us all.
One of the most fascinating songs off the album for me personally is called Heal You; it reminds me of a band I use to adore in the early part of this century called Kin Za Za. The production on this track is so addictive and beautifully layered, and another that could possibly be labelled as potential single material. Allow the music to heal you, this is a musical opportunity to simply bliss out and enjoy a moment of tranquil vocals by the artist.
It’s quite incredible to think, but it’s true, we are at the penultimate piece off the release and this final but one offering is a gift called The Light Within. The tone of this song is perfection; I could drift away with ease to it. I also found something quite healing about this piece as well; however that was more than likely due to the incredibly well-crafted build, construction and progression of the composition, one that is a real stand out piece among many, another anthem perhaps?
We reach that final shoreline of musical mastery and as we do so Juliet Lyons presents us with one more song to take along on our way, it is quite simply called Shine. The messages in all you do, with each breath you take are just shine. The performance by Lyons is both meaningful and sung with an honest intent and an open heart. This has to be simply the best way to leave an album of this nature, one that will leave the listener filled with both love and joy.
The Light Within by Juliet Lyons is a revelation and a real shot in the arm for the vocal wing of the new age genre, something that had been needed for quite some time. Lyons floating, but pristine vocals are a treasure to listen to, especially as the artist creates an all-encompassing collection of great compositions that we can all relate to and get something from. The Light Within by Juliet Lyons is one of those rare panaceas of musical delight and bliss.
Rating: Excellent
In the Soft Light of Grace by David Nevue
- posted by R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews on 5/22/2019
in the soft light of grace
David Nevue
in the soft light of grace

I have known about solo pianist David Nevue’s music for more than fifteen years. As a matter of fact, he was the first New Age artist I ever saw in a live performance. I have been a fan ever since. As time passed we have both changed, but this is about him. David’s music has artistically metamorphosed from simple, dreamy and hopeful tracks into deep seated and faith based melodies that touch one’s heart on so many levels. And it can only get better from here. In the soft light of grace is David’s sixteenth album. It contains Thirteen tracks of contemporary solo piano musings and faith influenced tracks. The music is soft, calming and compelling. There is a new depth and innate beauty to this music. You can hear emotions and colors, stories and Divine inspiration.
Walking in Trust is a song of confidence. Confidence in the belief that you surrender voluntary and without doubts. And it is that confidence that makes you stronger. That allows you to do what needs to be done because your accomplishments are sanctioned by something greater that yourself. A few notes, as in a few small steps, opens the tune. But in the end we hear the whole journey.
The title tune, in the soft light of grace is the next track and a favorite. It begins tentatively, as if one is trying out the sound to see what will happen. Fortunately the melody comes together into a reverie of reverence and a picture of peaceful contemplation. If one could have a quiet celebration, then this would be perfect. The Christian concept of grace is mysterious and fleeting at times. Perhaps it is the tacit approval of one’s choices by an unseen God that is everywhere.
I liked the track title of the next tune, The Wind Blows Where It Wishes. It quite poetic and yet, there is a broodiness to the song that makes it perfect for this inclement spring day. The gray sky subdues the light. Trees sway and bend. Birds hide from the gusty meanderings. Last autumn’s remaining leaves skitter across the ground. David’s music wanders in our minds like that wind, taking things away, and bringing new things in.
Out of Pain, Comes Beauty has a melancholy air about it. A sweet sadness so to speak. David’s tune is, if anything, pensive from his sparing use of notes. Still the theme resonates deep within one’s soul. Not all pain is physical. There is anguish of the heart that tears and rends like unseen teeth and claws. Sometimes the healing takes what seems like forever. But one day, there is it and it is a thing of beauty. Goodbye to the pain.
Of late, David has been taking long walks in the forest. Perhaps Where the Water Flows is the results of that exploration. In his music you can hear the water coursing. You can imagine the ripple of sunlight on water and the steady movement. What you can’t see is the way water changes everything it touches. Land, rocks, and beach are eroded. And in the end, water makes its own course.
Even on the coldest day, the sun tells us we are alive. And even on the darkest night, the stars tell us we have hope. Luminous is Nevue’s musical poem to the power of light. Oh, and there is one more source, the light that comes from within. It burns brighter that any star and it is fueled by faith. The melody is soft and evocative. If there truly is light in music, then this tune glows.
David Nevue is an award winning pianist and composer who makes his home in Eugene, Oregon. He is also a father, a husband, an author and a producer. He wears many hats, but his most comfortable one is probably true believer. His strong connection with faith and family has generated a lot of wondrous music. in the soft light of grace is the culmination of the gifts he has received over the years. Highly recommended. – R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews
Rating: Excellent
Lilac Skies by Shambhu
- posted by R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews on 5/21/2019
Lilac Skies
Lilac Skies

Takes a goodly portion of jazz, add a little R & B, include a modicum of contemporary music, shake it up a bit and chill slightly and you end up with an amazing upbeat album by talented guitarist and composer Shambhu and his friends. It is called Lilac Skies. What gives the eye and the heart more pleasure than a lavender sky to start a day? Lilac skies at night perhaps. In either case, the fourth release by this jazz style guitarist is ten tracks of mellow music guaranteed to uplift, soothe, and entertain all. Joining Shambhu on the album are Kai Eckhardt on bass, Frank Martin on keyboards, Celso Alberti on percussion, the ubiquitous Premik Russell Tubbs on flute and sax, Alec Hamilton on the Hammond organ, and Kristin Hoffmann on background vocals. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
When dawn decides to grace the land, the combination of light and clouds makes for a marvelous display. Those lavender hues seem to please the soul like no other. Shambhu transforms those colors into musical notes with the same magic ability. The recording opens with the title tune Lilac Skies as a musical icebreaker so to speak. The animated tone of the album is well expressed in this first piece and it not only promises a blissful journey, but also delivers.
Next Shambhu features his unique fretwork on a melodic ballad called Unspoken Words. These are not utterances left unsaid, but words expressed in a language understood by soft smiles, bright eyes, and inspired hearts. This is a truly beautiful guitar piece with a languorous flow and mellifluous refrain. Dynamic guitar riffs and ornate piano counterpoise in the tune Blue Whispers. There’s something dark and steamy about this one. There is subliminal heat and heavy emotion disguised as a bluesy ballad like a Robin Ford song. This is one of the best of the best on Lilac Skies. Open Your Heart Sky is a sophisticated song with a lot of sentiment. It is one of those that easily becomes an anthem for the cause with its strong compositional elements, jazzy electric guitar, and complemental Hammond organ trimmings. Percussion and deep bass add the extras that pull it together into a unified theme. This is an invitation to soar, to live, and to breathe. You might as well surrender.
There are some terrific piano riffs in Inspired by the Night and Seeing You Again. Together, they are probably the most complex tunes on the album, but individually, they are like night and day. Inspired by the Night has some groovin’ bass licks by Eckhardt that drive the song forward. Your nocturnal encounter consists of a black, bountiful blanket of stars, some warm breezes, and don’t forget the most important component of all, thou. Seeing You Again is the final cut on Lilac Skies and presents a warm and quite fond farewell. It is celebration of sound with no regrets. The listener has partaken of the joyful menu and ends up a satisfied customer.
I liked every track for its diversity, yet its loyalty to the main theme, that of unwavering joy. Shambhu has done a brilliant job of not only offering up the music to keep your mood in a positive vibe, but also bringing together just the right talents to make it happen. Highly recommended - R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews
Rating: Excellent
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