Set for release on October 27, 2009 through Signature Sounds, Caroline Herring’s fourth album Golden Apples of the Sun is her most intimate and mature to date. Combining haunting originals with some surprising new takes on old standards, Herring has created an album that at once recalls the folk heyday of the 1960s and 70s while also sounding entirely fresh and new.
Herring has built a name for herself by crafting in-depth story songs, with critics continually describing her work as “timeless,” “pure,” “graceful” and “powerful.” Her last release, Lantana, was named by National Public Radio as one of the “Top Ten Best Folk Albums for 2008.” While critics and fans have long praised the purity and complexity of her voice, drawing comparisons to Joan Baez and Kate Wolf, the vocal performances on Golden Apples of the Sun are as comfortable and intimate as any Herring has produced. It is the most true to stage release of her career, and Herring gives credit to producer David “Goody” Goodrich, who crafted the stripped-down sound in the Signature Sounds studio in Connecticut. Armed primarily with just her guitar and live vocals, the finished product has all the marks of a fully developed artist and performer.
Emboldened by the critical acclaim of her recent work, Herring continues to create what Vintage Guitar has called “musical tapestries full of dark landscapes, bittersweet images, and otherworldly moments.” As usual, Herring draws inspiration from a wide range of sources. The album’s lead song “Tales of the Islander” is vintage Herring, an inspired and inspirational paean to the Gulf Coast folk artist Walter Anderson, and the closing track “The Great Unknown” takes off from a passage from Dante’s Inferno. Yet Herring also includes beautifully crafted, intimate songs such as “The Dozens” and “Abuelita” drawn from her personal experience.
Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of the new album, however, is the tribute Herring pays to the iconic female songwriters and singers who influenced her. Herring’s work has always been identified with the traditions of her native South, yet on Golden Apples of the Sun Herring filters the sounds and inspiration of Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins through her own distinctive musical sensibilities.
Long-time Herring fans are sure to appreciate her evocative interpretations of Mitchell’s “Cactus Tree” as well as the traditional bluegrass tune “Long Black Veil” and the blues classic “See See Rider.” Herring also tackles “True Colors,” a song made famous by Cyndi Lauper, giving a newfound strength and directness to the pop song. These choices may seem like strange bedfellows on paper, but filtered through Herring’s sensibility – stark, elegant and bittersweet – they settle in exquisitely alongside her original compositions. Sonically unguarded and daringly intimate, Golden Apples of the Sun continues a creative evolution that has solidified Herring as musician of consistent depth and resonance.
Early Praise for Golden Apples of the Sun:
“Golden Apples of the Sun is a work of magical intimacy and immediacy. Listening to the album, it’s as if she’s right there with you, telling her powerful tales to an audience of one.” –Shane Harrison, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“There are very few contemporary singer-songwriters willing to release such stark, compelling albums, works that force you to listen and absorb their musical and lyrical details. And even fewer who do it as successfully as Herring.” – Hal Horowitz, The Sunday Paper
“Simple, austere, and lovely, the best moments from Golden Apples of the Sun shine under a classic folk glow, as crisp and clear as a New England fall morning.”
– Jeff Giles, PopDose
“Musically and artistically, this album marks a continuing expansion, maturity, and blossoming of Caroline’s work.” – Mac McKinney, Op Ed News
10/28/2009 – Milwaukee, WI- Shank Hall
10/29/2009 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
10/30/2009 – Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music
11/05/2009 – Atlanta, GA – Trinity Presbyterian Church
11/06/2009 – Arlington, MA – Regent Theatre
11/07/2009 – Northampton, MA – The Iron Horse
11/19/2009 – Austin, TX – Cactus Cafe
11/20/2009 – San Antonio, TX – Casbeers at the Church
11/21/2009 – Houston, TX – Anderson Fair
12/15/2009 – Decatur, GA – Eddie’s Attic