Coming three years after the acclaimed The Art of Removing Wallpaper and two after her just-for-grins foray into kid's music with the whimsical (and wildly successful) Celebrate the Difference, The Spiritual Kind is a celebration of life and song that sums up Terri's myriad charms like a veritable career anthology. Some of the tracks, including Acre of Land, The Spiritual Kind and Terri's cover of Woody Guthrie s powerful Pastures of Plenty, have already proven their mettle over months of road-testing in listening rooms, theaters and festivals across the country. Others, like the incredibly catchy but socially conscious Jim Thorpe's Blues and the beautiful Soul of My Soul, are certain to join the ranks of the fan-favorites that helped secure Terri's standing as one of the most endearing independent artists throughout the contemporary folk scene. The record plays like a warm thank you to her longtime fans, and serves as the perfect introduction to listeners who have yet to experience Hendrix.
Spirituality has rarely sounded more playful than it does on this album's title song. Though the Texas troubadour's matter-of-fact whimsy keeps her message from becoming overbearing, a seriousness of purpose underscores this song cycle about the ways in which spirituality informs everyday life. As the material remains thematically focused, there's a wide range of musical styles, from the Deep Ellum bluesiness of "No Love in Texas" and the jazzy "Mood Swing" to the spoken-word "If I Had a Daughter" and the Cajun two-step of "Jim Thorpe's Blues." In addition to her original material, Hendrix finds a perfect fit for material from others, including John Hadley's singalong opener, "Life's a Song," Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl ballad "Pastures of Plenty," and Jimmy Driftwood's socially conscious "What Is the Color of the Soul." As before, her key musical collaborator remains producer/multi-instrumentalist Lloyd Maines (father of Natalie of the Dixie Chicks, whom he has also produced and accompanied), with a crack band backing Hendrix throughout. --Don McLeese