Behind prison walls, what can someone do to have these inmates voices heard? Audrey Auld took it upon herself to channel a creative program for these inmates that are stationed at San Quentin. In doing so, Audrey unleashed the hard realizations and struggles that happen within their walls. Using their stories and experiences but giving her voice over to help shape the music that ultimately would be released in the form of an album called ‘Hey Warden’.
The second track ‘Hey Joe’ clearly states the loneliness that accompanies confinement. After being in Nashville for some time, Audrey adds a bittersweet element that is essential to country music. Not that I’m calling this album in the country genre, somehow it seems to bypass that exception and without knowing because a whole other entity that should careful be heard. It would also be in this song that about half way towards the ending minutes…this heart-breaking beautiful melody is expressed in the background as the instruments take hold. And then as the ending becomes more apparent we hear this solemn possibility that maybe just maybe something that has happened in life could be reversed.
Audrey Auld does not drive away from any communication or story when it comes to this album. Usually this sort of idea is easily tip-toed around trying to find a medium where it will not come off as true as this one has. Audrey shows that being afraid of a prospect should be embraced. This album has been a long term project, some songs are from as early as 2006 to 2012, so once you’ve gathered every corner that the San Quentin prison walls could offer, it only seemed right to offer the emotionally presence that is offered throughout each track.
Even as track ‘I Am Not What I Have Done’ speaks volumes, the title alone and then as Audrey sings in an acapella moment to clarify what has happened in an account of a moment where a murder was committed. Repeating ‘I’m a boy not a man’ throughout the song, giving us a personal point of view that not only can one feel the guilt this individual has suffered but questioning if redemption is possible.
Once the final track comes on ‘Sunshine’ you may already be feeling the thought process click around in your mind about what human beings go through once they’ve been punished for past actions. So ‘Sunshine’ is a song that grabs a hold and keeps you guessing…what will the outcome be as the lyrics play out ‘I was looking for somebody to save me’.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
by Kristen Fisher