Nearly 40 years after first picking up a guitar, singer/songwriter Liane Shalev releases her first album entitled "Free"
The release of her first album at 51 years old is the culmination of a long-time dream for Liane Shalev, an ex-South African now living in the Western Galilee, Israel. Shalev, a folk and country singer who first picked up a guitar at age 12, started writing songs in her 40s. Shalev made Aliyah from Johannesburg with her husband and two children in July 1997, giving birth to her third child several months later.
The debut album, entitled "Free," reflects her strong folk and country influences and focuses on the issues that preoccupy her. "Remember Me," the first track on the album, was written on Holocaust Day several years ago. "Angels Watching Over You" reflects her strong belief that as she makes her way through life, she's not alone. Other songs explore her childhood fantasy about finding love, her battle with depression, and her take on being single again in midlife. Some of her songs are written for people she loves, such as "My Dearest Friend," written for her childhood friend and "Always Believe in You," written for her youngest daughter.
"The Butterfly Within" is one of the songs closest to her heart, describing a caterpillar that discovers she's really a butterfly. "It's a story about a difficult time in my life, inspired by one of my favorite books, 'Hope for the Flowers,' by Trina Paulus," says Shalev.
Describing herself as a dabbler in the local Anglo folk scene, appearing occasionally at folk clubs and other small venues, Shalev's severe stage fright is something she is still struggling to overcome. "I'm fortunate to be part of a receptive folk community here in Israel," she says, "which provides a supportive platform for local musicians."
"Free" was produced in collaboration with Eyal Luman Studios in Yodfat. Luman, an accomplished musician, wrote all the arrangements and produced the album, which is available for sale through CD Baby.