Sound alternatives

If you are a regular listener to radio’s A Prairie Home Companion or a bluegrass fan, chances are you know the signature sound of Sam Bush, a mandolinist who commands his instrument with sublime grace one moment, ferocious jig energy the next. He also has a pleasing voice, tinged with gravel on songs such as the positive-thinking “A Better Man” and the steady-rocking “Bless His Heart.”

Working with fellow members of Lake View Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Kesselring has rendered a tender jewel, a collection of songs from her grandmother’s hymnal. It starts with the jazzy effervescence of “This Little Light of Mine,” then unwinds into numbers such as “Lead, Kindly Light” and “Amazing Grace” that glow with a campfire intimacy. The album closer, “Call Me,” is a Kesselring original that makes a tidy bookend with “This Little Light,” sporting a complementary melody and up-tempo feel.

 

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