Album Review of
Endless Grace

Written by Joe Ross
July 5, 2022 - 1:45pm EDT
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“Who even knew a world can move?” is an evocative sentiment most of us felt when the pandemic of 2020 first hit. In her lead-off song, “When the Ground Shifts,” singer/songwriter Deidre McCalla does one of the best jobs I’ve heard of reflecting upon the emotions we all felt from the tangible and intangible effects of that experience so suddenly thrust upon us.  She counsels us to “just try to hold on, break it down into tiny little steps, take care of yourself, ask for help.”

McCalla’s fifth album, Endless Grace is the bold, optimistic, confident statement of an artist claiming her place in the world and relentlessly affirming the power and diversity of the human spirit. With alluring contemporary folk that is both inspired and inspiring, she utilizes stylistic elements from a variety of genres from Celtic to Caribbean, Country to Gospel.

McCalla sings about topics and experiences that reveal her delicate and pensive reflections on life and herself. “Shoulder to the Wheel” is a tribute to the perseverance and efforts of essential workers, and “One Foot” reminds us to laugh a bit and keep on marching on. Other songs exhibit considerable emotional depth as she sings about childhood, relationships, salvation, loss, desire, joy, resilience and praise. With a very pleasant multi-layer production, tracks are colored with tints of various stringed instruments, piano, organ, bass and percussion.

I especially enjoyed the touches of mandolin, mandola, Dobro, fiddle, pedal steel, vibes and flugelhorn that occasionally appear in tracks like “Amarylis,” “Even Now,” “I Do Not Walk This Path Alone,” “Shoulder to the Wheel,” and “Nothing to Prove.” Vicki Randle’s background vocals help emphasize the heart-tugging urgency and warmth in McCalla’s lyrical messages in poignant songs like “Halfway Down the Highway,” “I Do Not Walk This Path Alone” and “Even Now.” Similarly, background vocals by Vickie Carrico and Michael Mishaw embellish four other tracks, and Dianne Davidson also joins the chorus on “One Foot,” another song for the times that encourages us to keep on marching through each day’s problems, rewards, joy and sorrow. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)