I'm always inspired when I discover artists who are truly enthusiastic about their craft. There's charm in simple vocals and guitar; bare, clean, down-to-earth. However, nothing beats meeting a chef with her arms buried in dough while countless pans simmer on the stove. Christen Grey is no exception. On her latest album, 10,000 Things, she performs the following: vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, acoustic guitars, slide guitar, piano, dulcimer, mandolin, synth keyboard, harmonica, tambourine, shakers, and samples. Christen composed all of the music and wrote all the lyrics. She also slices, dices, and makes curly fries!
I'm also excited to mention that band member Camilla Bustamante plays the mouth harp on one of the tracks. I've had a crush on the mouth harp since I saw the equally crush-worthy Buffy Saint Marie play it on Sesame Street. Christen Grey and the Moving Dunes deliver feel-good, soothing folk-y rock that flows easily. I would best describe Christen Grey and the Moving Dunes as: adult contemporary with pop overtones and folk rock roots. Her voice greatly reminds me of Melissa Etheridge, or perhaps Pat Benatar with a slight twang. The band's track "I Want The World" would be a very welcome addition to any adult contemporary radio station's playlist. Their track "So Much Better" has grown on me, in the same way that Shawn Colvin's "Sonny Came Home" did back in the much-missed days of Lilith Fair.
10,000 Things is a flawless collection, created by people who make performing seem a lot easier than it actually is. Music seems like a second language to Christen Grey, or perhaps, her first. Though Grey and her band are a troupe of talented musicians, I prefer my folk rock to be shaken; not stirred. This album would be a good gift for the baby boomer that has everything.