Album review – Herrick’s “Sunderland Road”

Herrick is a Nashville-based husband and wife duo from Spokane, Washington. They released, last September, their third studio album, named “Sunderland Road“, five year after “Cottonfields” (released on April of 2016 and nine years after their debut LP “New Dance” (released on April of 2012).

One week after the release, the band received the “Entertainer of the Year” award at the Josie Music Awards, their second consecutive time to win this category at the largest independent artists award show. It was their fourth Josie music award, after winning in previous years the “Female vocalist of the year” and the “Bluegrass/Folk/Americana” awards.

Donna and Kerry Herrick wrote all the songs of “Sunderland Road“, along with Ron “Snake” Reynolds, David Van Walker, Walt Aldridge and Lance Wing. Ron Reynolds, who also coproduced the album, sadly passed away on October 5th, three weeks ago, and this LP will remain as one of his latest works, after a brilliant career as an artist and then as an engineer, producer and songwriter (Johnny Cash, Earl Thomas Conley, Johnny Rodriguez, John Anderson…), begun in the sixties. May he rest in peace.

The first song released before the album, as a single, “Some Kind of Lonesome“, about the passing of Donna’s mother, is absolutely beautiful. Emotion will certainly overwhelms you while listening to the wonderful voice of Donna, beautifully accompanied by a piano. I also recommend you to check out the music video. It’s brilliant and particularly moving.

My favorite song on the album, cowritten with Ron “Snake” Reynolds, is the fantastic “A Place Called Always“. Its music and songwriting defines perfectly the vibe of the album, with a combination of melancholy, nostalgia and love, splendid vocals, brilliant songwriting and beautiful music. It’s undoubtedly an outstanding song of this album.

You can’t be indifferent while listening to the magnificent “Losin’ Cinderella Shoes“. This ballad, brilliantly cowritten by Donna and Kerry Herrick and Ron Reynolds, is very moving, and it’s one of the songs that better enhances Donna’s voice. A gem !

If you appreciate the great songwriting present all along this record, you’ll love the title track, “Sunderland Road“, cowritten with Lance Wing and the fantastic “Midnight in Birmingham“, cowritten with Walt Aldridge. This last one may be a dark song, but you can relate to its tremendous lyrics and strongly appreciate the music, that includes accordion. You’ll find this instrument too in the song “Old Bridges“, cowritten with Ron Reynolds, particularly beautiful and catchy.

A Time When There Was You“, also cowritten with Ron Reynolds, is a splendid and romantic ballad, and “Beyond This Town“, cowritten with David Van Walker, a catchy song. “Someday I’ll Fly“, a song about life after death, beautifully enhances Donna’s voice.

Herrick opened for a lot of great artists. Among them, was George Jones, who once said, after listening to Donna Herrick : “This little girl can really sing“. I couldn’t agree more. All the great lyrics present on “Sunderland Road” enhance her voice and the result is a brilliant album.

Nicolas Davelu

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