The term “recording artist” gets splashed on anyone who commits a performance to a compact disc.

But Christina Blust clearly takes the “artist” half seriously. The words adorning the 14 songs on this Terre Haute singer-songwriter’s first full-length album transcend mere lyrics.

These are poems, pensively written and deep. The CD’s scenic jacket shows Blust lying in a patch of shady grass on the grounds of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, staring into the sky.

Her thoughts expressed on this soulful, acoustic folk compilation, “Sudden Amaryllis,” carry a cloud-gazing, introspective style.

The song “Providence” — beautifully accompanied by the chirps of birds and the midday bells at the Church of the Immaculate Conception — depicts “a kitten, black and white, in the compost; vacancy in the chapel balcony; trees stubbornly grow in the orchard; nobody knows their names.”

Blust describes her world, from her own perspective, using her own life’s scenes, language and locales.

The album revisits moving moments in Blust’s life, from her first day of preschool in the succinct “Bluebird,” to cancer and a tumor striking her mom and sister within a week (“Tumor”), to her participation in post-Hurricane Katrina relief efforts (“Spilled”) and her work with the Sisters of Providence Volunteer Ministry (“Providence”).

The disc’s finest moments, lyrically, come when she paints images her listeners have likely experienced, too. That door opens on the title track, when Blust cautions against threats to sincere love: “Don’t believe staggering fools who tell you should fear; don’t believe any love but true — darling, I will stand beside you; I know you are stronger than that.”

Her philosophies and visions get deft, gentle musical support, built on her intricate tunes and arrangements. Blust’s voice is sweetly inviting, especially when the accompaniment — by a solid team of backing musicians — is most bare. On the opening track, “Spilled,” Blust delivers a vocal that packs an Alanis Morissette strength, with a dash of Yoko Ono during an aerobic chorus of bouncing “ah’s.” (Rest assured, Blust’s pleasant voice far exceeds Yoko’s.)

The performances by Blust and her team of musicians shine, especially through the production work by Don Arney, Blust and David Goodier. Blust shows versatility and skill on a variety of instruments, including guitar, accordion and keyboards. The combination of her musicianship, singing and songwriting, and the supporting band blends best on the infectious “Spilled” with its rippling guitar strums, the heartfelt “No Cathedrals,” and “Sunburn” with a piano riff reminiscent of early-’70s Elton John.

With her bundle of artistic talents, Blust has crafted an engaging, pretty debut album that shows the strong potential for an even more accessible followup CD.



To get a listen

• “Sudden Amaryllis,” the new album by Terre Haute singer-songwriter Christina Blust, is available for digital download purchase at Digstation. The 14-song CD can be purchased through www.christinablust.com.



Mark Bennett can be reached at (812) 231-4377 or mark.bennett@tribstar.com.

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