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Kerri Arista | 50 Different Ways

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Folk: Alternative Folk Easy Listening: Adult contemporary Moods: Type: Acoustic
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50 Different Ways

by Kerri Arista

acoustic-based and authentically Kerri’s, but with added life and magic beyond her mostly solo voice-and-guitar recordings of previous years that elevate this latest set of tracks to a new level of artistic success
Genre: Folk: Alternative Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Flower on the Wall
3:19 album only
2. Unfold
3:44 album only
3. Naked
3:11 album only
4. Enough
3:55 album only
5. You'll Be Surprised
4:01 album only
6. One of These Days
3:49 album only
7. Balance
3:33 album only
8. Don't Believe a Word I Say
3:32 album only
9. Sum of All the Parts
3:24 album only
10. 50 Different Ways
3:13 album only


Album Notes
Kerri Arista may have grown up in Dallas, but as a songwriter, she currently lives somewhere in the neighborhood of Suzanne Vega and Dar Williams. She plays 100 gigs a year, mostly opting for weekly sets at the dinner-type venues most readily available to “girls with guitars” in Dallas, like Café Lago, and appearances at folk-Mecca listening rooms like Uncle Calvin’s and annual outdoor festivals.

Kerri’s CD release party for her third album, “50 Different Ways” packed the house with her fans at La Grange in Deep Ellum in November 2010. Entrepreneurial and enterprising, largely self-taught and highly self-motivated, Kerri left school teaching a decade ago to build a performing career, dedicating herself to the craft of songwriting, and researching and consulting with experienced audio engineers in assembling a small, but respectable recording studio in the spare bedroom of her home.

“50 Different Ways” is the third volume from that studio – a collection of songs she composed as a result of diving into the 50/90 Challenge, a marathon of songwriting in which artists attempt to create a finished song in less than 2 days, over and over again, during a 3 month period. Kerri said recently, “It’s an online challenge I’ve been able to complete 3 years in a row now. For whatever reason, it works really well for me to spit out loads of songs in a short time, and then go back later and polish up the good ones.”

On “50 Different Ways”, the evolution of her recorded work took a big leap forward, thanks to extraordinary percussionist Aaron Thomas (Ezra Thomas, Fishing for Comets) who is also a solid producer. Aaron not only played on several tracks, he also produced a big handful of the songs, resulting in arrangements that remain acoustic-based and authentically Kerri’s, but with added life and magic beyond her mostly solo voice-and-guitar recordings of previous years that elevate this latest set of tracks to a new level of artistic success.

This latest CD was also mastered by producer/engineer Mark Hallman (Carole King, Shawn Colvin, Eliza Gilkyson, Robert Earl Keen, Kelly Willis) at Congress House Studio in Austin, Texas. In addition to Thomas on percussion, Kerri was joined by her frequent sidekick in live performances, Sarah Reinke on cello, as well as Sam Romero on bass and hauntingly-effective electric guitar, Cornell Kinderknecht on flute, Eric Neal also on bass, and her husband, Fermin Arista, on piano.



to write a review

JF Glenn

Review of “50 Different Ways” by Kerri Arista
50 Different Ways is Kerri's fourth CD album. As a fan of Kerri's material I have a copy of each CD and have enjoyed each, but the best part is how Kerri has grown musically through the process. This latest release shows her ability to listen and to sculpt from the world around her. It is her best effort yet and I give it 5 stars.

“Flower on the wall” reminds me of my own adolescent years when I would stand on the side lines and watch. Her words haunt me as I remember not wanting to step out of the crowd for fear of being hurt. Then she perfectly places “Unfold” as the second song. When one steps out onto the floor and opens up the heart, making no expectations but keeping an open mind to see what will unfold.
The unfolding leads to the allegorical “Naked”, of the woman who is trying to search out the depths of her lover, this seems to be one of Kerri's favorite themes throughout her albums. She sings of peeling through the layers of the humanity to find the heart of the soul.
Having gently lured you gently into the philosophy of love, song number four wakes us back to one of the realities of falling in love. Well, when you peel away the layers you may find something you don't like, and this song about what happens when the point of “Enough” has been reached, and you realize it is time to move on.
“You'll Be Surprised” takes us back to the idea of renewal. The song about not prejudging and not entering into an experience with a prearranged attitude. You may miss something important if you close the eyes of your being to the events in living.
Kerri has used her first five songs to take us through many emotions of life: fear, courage, impulse, curiosity, love, hurt and renewal. This complete cycle is the perfect location for a complete change in direction. “One of these days” goes deep into the psyche of someone who is hurt, but at that moment can do nothing about the present situation. A very melancholy song where the lyrics are pushed from the inner being and sung with a sense of agony.
Do not be forsaken however, for there is “Balance”. This lovely ballad brings back the hope and displays Kerri's guitar talent. Where I love her voice my favorite songs are where she sets down the flat pick, puts on the finger picks and magically caresses the guitar note by note. I've played guitar for more years than Kerri has been alive and it is like a clinic every time I watch her play.
“Don't Believe A Word I Say” is Kerri's disclaimer song. This track reminds me of people who rush through life moving at the speed of society and speak without thinking about what their words mean or how they can hurt.
Ever heard a cello through a fuzz tone, “Sum Of All The Parts” opens with this eerie resonance. Lyrics that speak of the paradox within the body human and how we are always searching for finality yet always open ourselves to new questions of what we find.
The finale is a description of the feeling of the singer songwriter who now has to finish the show and hopes that she has touched you by singing the yearnings of her heart “Fifty Different Ways”. Covering all the emotions, opening the mind to new hopes and dreams and showing that there are consequences for every action. But don't be afraid, you'll be surprised when you unfold yourself and find there is balance. Yes, life is the sum of all the parts and you can't experience life as a wall flower.
J.F. Glenn