Review by Sylvie Marie & Staff
Martha Groves Perry is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in San Francisco, California. Martha began her recording career as a cello soloist on classical, rock, and folk CDs by Michèle Sharik, Bev Barnett & Greg Newlon, and Mira Wooten. As a vocalist and cellist, she toured with Michelle Shocked and has also performed with Tony Lindsay, Skip Edwards, James Nash, Jesse Brewster, Rich Armstrong, Crystal Monee Hall, Uriah Duffy, and Greg Tanner Harris. In addition to her instrumental work as a cello soloist, Martha plays piano, guitar, bass guitar, and percussion. Her first full-length CD These Hands was released on March 1, 2020.
The song "Butterfly" is a standout track on the album. It features Martha on lead vocals, harmonies and cello. It was produced by Kenny Schick, who sang backing vocals and played or programmed the other instruments on the track.. "Butterfly" showcases Martha's moving and expressive songwriting and performance skills.
A gorgeous, rich cello melody starts the introduction of "Butterfly." Martha plays the cello part with great sensitivity. As she masters the legato lines, short electric guitar riffs come in and out like sparkles of sun for a dynamic contrast. A deep and resonating hand drum sets the pulse. The sound feels ancient, almost Celtic, and is reminiscent of artists like Loreena Mckennitt who know how to tap into a spirit from deep within.
As the song moves forward, the cello switches registers and counterpoint develops as the song's intensity grows. Rhythm guitar and full percussion are eventually added and the song moves into a folk-rock groove. This buildup from a rich, ancient sound to a full folk-rock sound is seamless and perfectly depicts the song's meaning.
Lyrically, the song is about the instincts of parenthood, built from a history that started at birth, juxtaposed with the desire to let go and allow independence to unfold. Martha's sweet voice allows just enough air for tenderness while maintaining a strong, clear tone. This tender and powerful song explores the complex inner longing to connect and help without stepping over boundaries. "You’re the man you always dreamed you’d be. Right now it’s just hard for you to see." In a sense, both the parent and the child are like butterflies experiencing a metamorphosis of growth and new understandings.
In "Butterfly" Martha Groves Perry puts her heart on her sleeve without going overboard. Her straight forward honesty yields an authentic performance that is truly moving and tender. She beautifully captures the sometimes complex and beautiful relationship between parents and their adult children and the inner desire to maintain a role given at birth that slowly lets go for the sake of love.
Visit Martha Groves Perry's Website.
For information on These Hands, checkout the dedicated CD Website.
Listen on Soundcloud.