2021 / myndstream
Review by Kathy Parsons
2002 has become known as The First Family of New Age Music and with good reason. Randy and Pamela Copus released their debut album, Wings, in 1992 and their unique sound has only become richer and more distinct over time. A duo for many of those years, their daughter, Sarah, made her debut on Trail of Dreams in 2014 at the age of 10 and the band is now officially a trio. Known for ethereal vocals and soaring instrumentals, their music has been streamed a billion times!
A new album from 2002 is always great news, and Hummingbird is one of their best albums yet. Inspired by a note from a fan that said their music brought him "hope and inspiration every day, just like the hummingbirds in legends," the band decided to delve into the lore of this tiny flying jewel that represents hope, rebirth, beauty, balance, joy and harmony. It is fascinating to note that a hummingbird's wings move in the shape of an infinity symbol, much like the 2002 logo that symbolizes eternity and continuity. As the world gradually re-emerges from the COVID pandemic, "the image of the hummingbird represents Nature’s indefatigable resiliency and always has the capacity to heal herself. We, as a part of Nature, can share in that healing." (quoting promotional material) Instrumentation includes Randy on guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals; Pamela on flutes, Celtic harp, keyboards and vocals; and Sarah on Celtic harp and vocals. Guest musicians are James Song on violin, Dan Toten on cello and Monika Fryklund on viola.
Hummingbird begins with "Rainbow Cove," a dreamy slice of musical bliss. Acoustic guitar, Native American flute, strings, percussion, voices keyboard and bass set the peaceful yet colorful tone of the album - a warm and wonderful start! "Walela" is the Cherokee word for "hummingbird," and the piece bearing that title is lighter than air yet poignant and gently emotional. "Gathering the Clouds" has some gorgeous acoustic guitar and Native flute magic along with soaring strings and voices - one of several favorites on the album. The music video for this piece is stunning. "Sunlight in Rain" beautifully captures the awesome experience of seeing rays of sun breaking through rainclouds. Combining piano and cello is a favorite of mine, and adding flute and voices to them takes the music heaven-ward. I love the uneven rhythms as well as the soulful cello and flutes of "Sacred Mountain" - another favorite. "Courting the Moon" is much more ambient and fluid - very dreamy and peaceful. "Wind Dancer" begins with piano and strings, adding cello and flute after a short prelude. The title could suggest something being swept away by gusts of wind, but this is more like a gentle breeze carrying a small feather or a dandelion blossom freely and gracefully to an unknown destination - my favorite piece on the album. The last track is "First Day of Spring," a sunny, breezy piece that is rebirth and renewal set to music. Warm and optimistic, it is a lovely reminder that all will be well.
The digital release of Hummingbird is now available and the physical album/CD will be released July 16, 2021. It can be ordered from Amazon and Apple Music/iTunes and streamed from sites like Spotify. Definitely one of, if not THE, best albums from 2002, it's a must-have!
June 9, 2021
Review by Kathy Parsons
Review by Michael Debbage