THE ROAD TO MY FAMILY – Full Length Album, January, 2010
The Road to my Family is an album in the truest sense. Rather than simply a collection of songs, this record likes to be played in full. Like the arc of a story, one tune informs the next giving us a chance to identify with Sheree’s journey and sense of real life.
The subject matter in this record isn’t unheard of. Traditional themes like family, love, the loss of the country turning to city and so on – these are topics we’ve heard about before. Any composer should be able to bring these old traditions back to life, but a good composer illumines things we’ve never seen before. Sheree has managed to do just that – bring traditional song-writing into a new light.
Take the haunting track ‘Riverbend’ for example – a looming storm of a song about gardening with her grandmother in her small, northern Manitoba farm town. You can literally feel the rain clouds about to burst open as the piano track floats around like storm wind. Or the song ‘Sweet Little Tears’, a song about choosing love in unpredictable circumstances – here we listen with wide eyes as Sheree’s smoke-strained voice drives a train down the side of a mountain, and things are spinning out of control. Photo realism.
It’s her lyrical phrasing, her vocal tone and her melody choice that really sets his record apart. Her voice evokes such a tangibility you can almost taste it. ‘Wild Roses’ is another chorus that when you hear it, you have to wonder how it is that she can make those notes work. Not straying too far from the course however, Sheree shows that she can still write a mean pop song with the track ‘Old House’ – an easy song about a group home she used to work at that was falling down around them as they aged.
This recording took place right beside the Pacific Ocean -literally- in a cabin on Bowen Island, BC. Producer Jonathan Anderson has done a few albums with Sheree now, and you can tell they’re starting to learn each other well. Jon is able to do what all good producers do best – bring out the best in the band. And that he did. Whether they tracked the song live (as with Me and My Love and Front Cover) or multi-tracked the recordings, Anderson was always there to conduct the mood and feel of every little detail.
The Road to my Family is Sheree’s third full length release. Red Circled Heart, her sophomore record, has been featured on college radio all across Canada, and has received positive acclaim and airplay from the likes of Sook-Yin Lee (CBC Radio host of DNTO) and Rich Terfry (host of CBC Radio 2 ‘Drive’).
All these songs really come to life when being played live. Her and her band (including husband/guitarist Jeremy Eisenhauer) have seen many expansive Canadian tours over the past four years, and you can tell when you see them play. Well seasoned touring bands have a unique way of relating to and with their audiences. Sheree and her band seem comfortable on stage, and allow a feeling of camaraderie, between performer and listener. Her authentic connection with an audience adds a further dimension to her talent and confirms her a place among the artists we seek out time and time again.