It's Just Paradise
Review by Martin Willcocks: Teri Garrison has just released her newest album, "It's Just Paradise!", a collaboration with several well-known Maui musicians, like Vince Esquire, Cyril Pahunui and Don Lopez. As a long time friend and fan, I have great respect for her as both singer and songwriter. This album is undoubtedly her best yet, filled with beautiful original songs (except as indicated.) The songs: It's Just Paradise! - a live recording with Cyril Pahunui, slack key guitar; Richie Onori, drums; and backup singers. There is also a video of this song on the disc that you can play on a computer. Light and airy, this song projects a delight in all that makes Hawaii a paradise on earth. Her audience soon picks up the chorus. Queen Song (Aloha Oe, Liliu'okalani) - written about Queen Liliu'okalani, Hawaii's last reigning monarch, whose practice was forgiveness. With Greg Sardinha, steel guitar and bass; and Richie Onori, drums. It's a simple, singable tune and a beautiful tribute to the former Queen. Carry Me On - with Fulton Tashombe, keyboards and cello; Don Lopez, bass; Stephen "Bubba" Blessman, harmonica. This song is also in the video, from a recent performance in Lahaina. Written in memory of Margaret Rainsford, this is a lovely and heartfelt lullaby for her dear friend. Canefields - A regular sight on the islands where there are large sugar plantations, after harvesting there are acres of canefields burning - Written in calypso style, this song moves quickly and easily and conveys the happiness of a successful harvest. You can see a video online. Lahaina Harbor - another up-tempo song with some fine guitar and harmonica playing in the middle section by Vince Esquire and Stephen "Bubba" Blessman. Will I Find You? - music and lyrics by Randy Travis and Joel Friedman, this song appeared on "The Eyes" but is a new studio recording with Vince Esquire on guitar and Cindy Cashdollar on steel guitar. When I Get to the Islands - an up-tempo song about her longing to return to Hawaii after a spell on the mainland. Harmonies by Teri G. and David Jenkins. Recorded in Woodland Hills, Studio, CA, with Cindy Cashdollar on steel guitar recorded in Austin, TX. A nice collaboration and really conveys the feelings anyone who has ever been homesick has encountered. Romance in the Dark - A blues-influenced piece by Lil Green that Teri has been singing in her own unique style for over fifteen years, very smooth, you'll like it. Cindy Cashdollar also collaborated on this one. Blues on the Beach - with Vince Esquire and Don Lopez, and Josh Greenbaum on drums, this blues-influenced song is at a medium tempo and a fine song. Sweet Aloha Aina - with slack key guitar master Cyril Pahunui, this is a lovely song about Maui, Lahaina, and the wonder of this island in her heart. Raindrops - If you love the soft warm rain that falls in the islands, you will feel connected to this song, written for her bass player, Don Lopez. Amazing Grace - This beloved hymn in an arrangement by David Lindley, who is a guest artist on Weissenberg lap steel guitar, featured on their album "Only Love", but here is played with Cyril Pahunui's ummistakable slack key guitar as well. I like this version better than the previous one, and it is a fitting reminder that all of our gifts come through and from the grace of God. I rate this album 4½ stars on a scale of five, well worth buying - you will surely enjoy all the original artistry and beauty expressed here. Copyright © 2010 by Martin Willcocks. All rights reserved. Used by permission.