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Friday, October 10, 2008

Musician finds meaning in life's experiences


Williams Bay musician Sherri Richae has turned her life's experiences and strong faith into a new CD.

She'll be performing Oct. 11 at the Royal Oak Farm in Harvard, Ill.

Music writer Tony Bonyata previews the show ...

Finding meaning in life's experiences

By Tony Bonyata/For Weekender

Williams Bay musician Sherri Richae says scripture, prayer and life's circumstances inspire her.

She will be appearing Oct. 11 at the Royal Oak Farm in Harvard, Ill., where she'll perform songs from her debut CD, "Basking In Freedom."

Richae describes her music as inspirational with a folk flavor. She was raised in Chicago and started her musical training at the age of 4, when she began singing.

She took up the violin a few years later before settling into acoustic guitar.

She began to write her own compositions after her interest in folk, blues, jazz, bluegrass and country-rock began to blossom.

Richae played in a number of bands during her college years, but eventually put her music on the back burner to focus on her family.

It wasn't until 1994, when she and her family moved to Williams Bay, that Richae returned to her music.

As she became more involved with the choir at Calvary Community Church, she was inspired to return to songwriting; only now she was focusing her music on something decidedly more spiritual.

"I tend to write songs in story form, based on profound Christian beliefs and struggles faced sometimes in the Christian walk," Richae said.

Richae said the album's title came from her own struggles.

"I had written the song 'Basking In Freedom' when I was going through something quite traumatic," she said. "Not long after that, a friend of mine, who was serving in Iraq, encouraged me to record some of the songs I had written. Once I realized the great meaning in the three words 'Basking In Freedom.' I decided it would be the title for the album."

"Life is so fragile," she said, "but God created it that way so in my weakness he could teach me to depend on him and trust in him with childlike faith."

The album was produced by Tom Hilker, the worship pastor at Calvary, and was recorded in Lake Geneva at Machine Record's Velvet Ch√Ęteau Recording Studio.

"Working with Tom was a privilege and a pleasure," Richae said. "He is a man of God who has a servant's heart that is bigger than life."

"I have a great respect for him and his artistic and musical abilities," she said. "He wrote and arranged some of the instrumental parts and added other creative ideas, which helped to make each song unique.

While she already has more new music in the works, she's patient about her career. "I'm not sure what the plan is yet," she said. "I'm researching my options, however, and praying for God's direction. In the meantime, I have plenty to keep me busy."

More about Sherri Richae's "Basking In Freedom" is at: www.cdbaby.com/cd/sherririchae.

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