March 17, 2011

CD Review: Pierson's latest charts course for intimate corners of life

By AIMSEL PONTI

Singer-songwriter Heather Pierson's latest CD, "Make It Mine," is home to no less than 16 songs. Originally from the West, Pierson calls New England home and keeps up a dizzying pace of live performances, as evidenced on the "Gigs" section on her website.

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HOW IT RATES

HEATHER PIERSON -- "MAKE IT MINE"

LABEL: Vessel Recording

INFO: "Make It Mine" can be purchased locally at Bull Moose, or online on iTunes or heatherpierson.com.

***

-- Based on a five-star scale

Pierson's main instrument is the piano, though she also plays the occasional drums, bass and electric guitar on the disc. There's a real pureness to her voice as she leads us through intimate corners of her experiences and tells stories with a Joni Mitchell kind of edge.

"I knew a woman once who collected other people's mistakes / And with her voodoo magic she could make them all her own," sings Pierson in "Did I Mention." Her hands float on and above the piano keys with the ease of a longtime player; it's as if it's as second nature as breathing.

"Fix" is another standout song: "The very thought of you makes me weak in the knees / So I'll try my best to stand up and be brave." You can feel the sorrow through the vocals, the piano and the haunting chorus of backup vocals.

Halfway through "Little Bluebird," drums come crashing through the door and Pierson's voice soars. This left me hoping that her next record will let even more percussion in.

Pierson released "Make It Mine" on her own Vessel Recording label and employed the services of none other than Grammy winner Bob Ludwig of Gateway Mastering to master it. It was recorded at Baked Beans Recording Studio in Harrison. You can hear several tracks at www.myspace.com/heatherpierson1.

Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at:

aimselponti@yahoo.com

 

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