In her new CD, Illusions, Kim Buchanan explores topics ranging from the Person County Schools’ dress code to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. And in between, she demonstrates the full range of her talents with masterful remakes of Grace Slick’s White Rabbit, George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps and She Moved Through the Fair, a traditional Celtic tune.

Each song contains elements of the CD’s title. In No Heart At All, a song Buchanan wrote, her haunting, soulful alto voice powerfully conveys the message of child abuse with lyrics that leave no mistake about the, “societal malaise.”

In the song, Buchanan states, “You’ve convinced yourself you’re mighty and you’re shaping them with love, but your cruel and heinous treatment shows that you’ve got no heart at all.” She also asks mothers, “can’t you hear them screaming in your dreams? Scared, broken and helpless, they’re trapped behind these screens.”

Addressing another form of illusion, in Borderline Minds, Buchanan sings, “You live with so much fear, fear of what you do not know. With emptiness inside, you’ll never see how life flows.”

The artist said she believes Borderline Minds is one of her most powerful songs because, “It boils it all down. Evil happens in the world because of fear. All power struggles are because of fear. The belief that you’re losing yourself if you give someone else the power.”

On a lighter note, but still addressing what she sees as a form of illusion, Buchanan set the recently adopted Person County Schools dress code to music. The song is apparently tongue-in-cheek, with its jazzy/bluesey cadence of, “And your pants they must be worn around your waist! We’ll have no sagging pants inside the school building.”

Buchanan laughs as she admits she took the dress code pretty much verbatim and made a song of it. While discussing her new CD, at times in a very serious tone, at others with a mischievous grin, she suddenly began singing the refrain from Dress Code, “Your undergarments are not to be visible, oh no no no. Your undergarments are not to be visible, unless you’re a cheerleader.”

She said she could use the line about cheerleaders because she was a cheerleader in high school. The cover of the Dress Code single, in fact, sports a shot of Buchanan as a cheerleader at Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Buchanan said the instrumental, Speechless Peace was her response to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11, 2001. It is an instrumental piece because, she said, any words used to attempt a description of that horrendous day would be, “trite.”

Buchanan said, overall, this latest release is more mature than her first album, Will I Ever Know? released four years ago. At the time that first CD was released, Buchanan had just begun rebuilding her musical career after taking several years off after the birth of her daughters. She said the experience of touring, performing and writing steadily had led to more depth in Illusions.

Part of that touring included a show on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage on April 8 with Mary Sue Twohy and Rachel Cross.

Will I Ever Know? was chosen by The Independent Weekly entertainment magazine as one of 1998’s best releases, and received International air play on acoustic and folk radio shows. Buchanan also received the Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council in 1999-2000, and was a featured artist on mp3.com. Her music ranked number one on MP3.com in the acoustic genre for that period, and remained in the top 25 for close to a year.

Illusions is available in Roxboro at Trilogy on Main Street and at Janine’s Hallmark on Leasburg Road. 

A CD release party will be held at the Six String Cafe and Music Hall in Cary on May 5.   

The singer/songwriter/musician lives in Hurdle Mills with her husband, artist George (Bucky) Buchanan and their two daughters, Casey, who plays flute on Illusions, and Ashley. 

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January 24, 2012 10:32 AM Eastern Standard Time.