Call of the Desert
Samer Fanek, indie artist
This is the fourth album from multi-instrumentalist and composer, Samer Fanek. The piano-driven album came out of Samer’s sincere, heartfelt longing for Jordan, his homeland. Along with piano and string orchestration, the album incorporates some exotic Middle Eastern instrumentation such as the oud, tabla, qanun, ney, and riq. The music on 10 tracks is rich, multifaceted, melodic, and flowing, perhaps not unlike a soft desert breeze at times. Evoking images of both East and West, in an amazingly successful merge, there is much more here, and the music is calming and relaxing, with a truly extraordinary beauty and heartbeat throughout — outstanding.
David Franklin, indie artist
David is a multi-instrumentalist, as well as being a licensed psychotherapist. He believes music is one of our most powerful tools for healing. Passings is a 15-track collection of acoustic guitar and piano songs written about the many transitions that occurred in David’s life over the past few years. The album features the fretless bass master, Michael Manring, on nine tracks and David’s son, Alex, on two tracks. But Passings is not just about David. The music conveys a sense of profound peace that pours out softly onto us all, as well as seeping deeply into the collective soul — beautiful.
Cheryl B. Engelhardt, indie artist
The creativity of composer, songwriter, and music business success facilitator, Cheryl B. Engelhardt, never ceases to amaze. This brief EP — 32 minutes, nine electronic ambient tracks — is the latest example of ingenuity from this brilliant musical artist. This is the first album we know of that was composed and produced entirely on a cross-country train trip. From the train, as the “passenger,” Cheryl sent music files to collaborators, including Gammy®-winning artists Lili Haydn, Sangeeta Kaur, and Danaë Xanthe Vlasse, world-renowned flutist, Sherry Finzer, and the Dallas String Quartet. Nine days later, 216 hours spent in a train “roomette,” The Passenger was birthed — astonishing.