Terri Hendrix The Spiritual Kind

Her ninth release in a decade, Texas-born Terri Hendrix is an independent success story. Billing herself as "hippy folk,” The Spiritual Kind is grounded in the production (and personal) contributions of accomplished artist Lloyd Maines, who elevates the calibre of the disc while allowing Hendrix’s freeform charm to shine. A dozen songs, eight of which are originals, position Hendrix as first and foremost a character who blends pop with country, folk with jazz and grafts smiles onto deep thoughts. You’ll even find zydeco and spoken word. But to sum up her approach, she’s got John Prine in her heart ("Things Change”) and bears a vocal similarity to Deana Carter. The title track and her cover of Woody Guthrie’s "Pastures of Plenty” are the disc’s best songs, the former epitomising her witty, socially conscious songwriting, the latter demonstrating her grasp of the real world. "If I Had a Daughter” is an insightful, heart-warming spoken word tribute to her unborn child, while "Mood Swing” features an about turn jazz bent in praise of Anita O’Day. Slightly uncomfortable with her tongue-in-cheek prowess, her most unguarded moment is her best: "Song of my Soul.” It is a smart, straight-ahead song that capitalises on her voice as it showcases strong songwriting. What else could you want from an independent? This is spiritually rewarding on many levels. (Wilory)