Album Review

Various Artists, 'Acoustic For Autism'

December 28, 2009

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This sterling project started with two New Hampshire high school friends finding each other 20 years later on Facebook. Producers Louis Gendron and Mike Cusanelli, who come from Claremont, N.H., learned they both have autistic children and they wanted to do something to help the cause. Hence, this magical benefit CD. Cusanelli is a VP at Seattle’s WorldSound Records and he rounded up some label acts such as the Brooklyn-based Analoque Transit (their shimmering “Breathe’’ is a plea for strength). Anuhea’s “Endlessly’’ is a highlight here. New Englanders are also represented: Chris Trapper of Push Stars fame (his “Across the World’’ is about breaking through boundaries), folk star Kris Delmhorst (her ascending phrases on “Light of the Light’’ induce chills), Maine’s Cormac McCarthy (whose “This Beautiful Place’’ is about perseverance), Dennis Crommett (of Northampton’s Winterpills) and Bay Stater Elizabeth Lorrey, who offers a classy, Sarah McLachlan-like “Awakening.’’ None of the songs was specifically written about autism, but all are selected because of their positive messages. They are sequenced beautifully and add up to a profound listening experience. Plus, all proceeds go to autism charities. (Out now through the website and iTunes, Amazon and other Internet outlets.) STEVE MORSE

Various Artists Acoustic for Autism
WorldSound Records
ESSENTIAL: “Across the World’’