Lee Zimmerman on “The Best of Times”
The Best of Times: Texas Artists Performing the Music of Sara Hickman
In conceiving an album meant as a fundraiser benefiting a favorite charity, specifically the most worthy Theater Action Project, Sara Hickman gives fans and newcomers alike something to savor, with more than three dozen songs spread across two discs, all of which have been culled from her catalog and covered by an impressive array of contributors. While Hickman’s made her mark as a renowned Americana artist and a successful performer who also caters to children and families, the incredible array of styles on display here doesn’t discriminate, offering equal album time to R&B, Roots, World Music and pertinent Pop. The music lends itself well to interpretation, and even with such big name guests as Willie Nelson, Edie Brickell, the Flatlanders, Shawn Colvin and Robert Earl Keen — simply for starters — it’s the material that shines, even in deference to the performers gracing the marquee. Hickman’s reputation in the Lone Star State is well established – she holds the prestigious designation of being a former Texas State Musician – but with this sumptuous collection, she’s indelibly etched as an icon.