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Dark and Dreamy



Article Published: Apr. 26, 2012 | Modified: Apr. 26, 2012
Dark and Dreamy


After you’ve listened to tens of thousands of musical acts from all over the United States, you begin to get a feel for the cultural characteristics of different areas.

Bluegrass, for instance, is more likely to come from the mountains of North Carolina than from southern Florida. Jazz from New York City has a different quality than its counterpart on the West Coast.

That said, Greensboro, N.C., is the last place one would expect to find a musical act like Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands. That’s not a slight toward Greensboro. It’s just that the dreamy, ethereal feel of Crystal Bright’s sound seems like it would be more at home in Paris. Or perhaps Never-Neverland.

Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands’ second album, “Muses and Bones,” was released earlier this year to little fanfare outside a core unit of dedicated fans. That’s mainly because the band is still unsigned by any label and is self-producing and self-promoting its music.

Intricate and musically challenging, “Muses and Bones” is elaborate and haunting, with the vocals of Ms. Bright taking the listener on a macabre but beautiful trip through her imagination.

Utilizing accordions, muted trumpets, organs, musical saws and other unusual instruments, Bright and her musical cohorts create a world that is dark and dreamy, timeless and otherworldly.

The 13 tracks on “Muses and Bones” fairly drip with expert production, especially considering the odd mixture of instruments and time signatures. On “Toy Hammer,” the accordion and musical saw float along, while what sounds like a wooden xylophone (it could be a keyboard, it’s hard to tell) creates the imagery of dancing skeletons.

The beautiful piano-driven ballad, “Today” retains all of Crystal Bright’s ethereal sound, yet sounds as if it could be a hit, either on the radio, or better yet, on a movie soundtrack album.

While Bright is truly the front-and-center star of the show on “Muses and Bones,” she gets considerable assistance from the Silver Hands. Jeremy Denna’s trumpet sets the stage for many of the songs, and Sandy Blocker’s drumming adds African, Middle Eastern and even South American rhythms.

“Muses and Bones” might be a little hard to find, but definitely worth the effort. You might just find that you have a new favorite North Carolina recording artist.

For more about Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands, visit http://www.crystalbrightandthesilverhands.com.

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