Soloist Vicky Emerson’s latest album, Dust & Echoes, is an effort truly worth admiring. After having taken time off from music in order to care for her newborn in December 2010, one would have thought the stresses and pressures of becoming a new mother would have caused her to stray from her passion and perhaps even abandon her former occupation. Thankfully, her experiences as a mom have only strengthened her resolve, and have had a direct influence on her songwriting. The crazy thing is that Dust & Echoes was mainly funded through a Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $10,000. Her fans held the belief that Emerson would deliver, and deliver she did.

“Arrival Of The Tempest” provides just a taste of the emotion Emerson pours into her music, and describes the painful agony of having to wait for a loved one returning back home. Emerson lists the natural thoughts and questions that anyone can surely relate to: “Will you make it home this time? Will you make it home tonight?” Her sweet country voice is gentle enough to lull one to sleep and serves to soothe rather than energize the listener. Two songs are clear dedications to members of her family: “Shine” was inspired by her baby daughter and “Here/Stay” is devoted to her husband. Emerson’s high notes are clean and effortless, and the love she displays towards her family is both real and heartwarming. “Tennessee” is a personal reflection on Emerson’s past, and is one fans and listeners alike will appreciate.

I’ll admit right now that, while I’m far from being a hardcore aficionado of country music (even though I wouldn’t necessarily label Dust & Echoes as pure country), this album was 100 percent enjoyment for me. Ms. Emerson, you have just earned yourself a new fan.

In A Word: Effortless

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