I listen to music for various reasons. Sometimes it’s to escape the clutches of reality and drift off to a far away land, and other times it’s to evoke a feeling brought on by an experience or memory associated with a particular tune. Albums are like a form of guided meditation in that you have an artist (or band) who ties together a string of songs with hopes of telling a story, and on her most recent album Who Knows Where The Time Goes singer/songwriter Rondi Charleston provides listeners with an enchanting narrative about love, hope, and strength. “These songs all, in one way or another, reflect some aspect of our collective relationship with time,” Charleston explains. “I hope to spark people’s subconscious emotions, and in doing so, remind them of just how precious time is,” and with jazz-fused reinterpretations of songs like Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed,” Percy Mayfield’s “Please Send Me Someone to Love,” and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Wave” the journey is one filled with a spectrum of diversity. On “Your Spirit Lingers” Charleston talks about the life of her great grandmother Indiana, who traveled by covered wagon across the country at six month of age, grew up on the prairie, lived through unspeakable hardship, and ended up in Oregon. “I often wonder, if she had been born in a different time, what she could have accomplished,” Charleston says of Indiana. Keeping it in the family, Charleston’s daughter is also on the album doing background vocals on the beautiful rendition of Bobby McFerrin’s “Freedom is a Voice.”
Throughout her life Charleston has worn many hats: an actor, opera singer, and most notably an Emmy award winning investigative journalist for Diane Sawyer, but on Who Knows Where The Time Goes she has valiantly earned the title of songwriter, and despite the fact that only four songs on this album are original they hold a magical quality which glues the album together perfectly. One of those songs, the mesmerizing ballad “Land of Galilee” not only demonstrates Charleston’s sensual vocal prowess but also highlights her ability to tell a story that takes you outside of yourself. Music is supposed to trigger a visceral emotion brought on by the stimulation of senses, and on her fourth album Rondi Charleston makes time stand still as she guides you through her style of meditation. By the end of this adventure you’ll have new memories to reflect upon, and that will make all the difference.