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New Age CD Reviews By Diane Garris
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By Raphael Groten
Released 9/1/2021
Potential tracks
1. Wander
2. Potential
3. Great Spirit
4. Within
5. Care
6. Melt
7. River's Edge
8. Percolate
9. Pause
10. Bear Cave
11. Call
12. Aft
13. Release
14. Twin Eagle
Raphael Groten - Potential
“A calming journey to the depths of the soul, ‘Potential’ is deeply spiritual, artistically creative, and worth exploring for anyone seeking healing and deep, inner peace.” – Dyan Garris

“Potential” is Vermont based, multi-instrumentalist, Raphael Groten’s newest album. It is his first self-produced album, his first two having been produced by legendary producer, Will Ackerman. “Potential” is a multi-layered sound healing exploration into a New Age sub-genre, “world medicine groove,” and one’s own inner potential. All the music was composed, performed, produced, and engineered by Raphael in his Vermont studio.

Here, Raphael has used many unusual instruments and styles, including nature sounds, flutes, percussion, stringed instruments from around the world, and various sound healing instruments. This album is 14 tracks of “intentional healing music,” including several vocal pieces by Raphael.

The album opens with the minimalistic, “Wander,” which is a lovely and soothing mix of nature sounds and guitar. Following is the title track, which features interesting, rhythmic percussion and flute. This has a “shamanic journey” feel to it as well as a definite “world groove.”
Deeply spiritual, “Great Spirit” features a rich, haunting vocal by Raphael, which invokes “Spirit.” Also “shamanic” in feel, this is quite soothing to the soul, and again with a world, chill, kind of groove.

“Within” is essentially a flute solo, with ocean drum, medicine drum, and wind chimes. At this point in the album, one gets a clear sense that this is truly a spiritual “journey,” and we are invited to connect with our inner selves and again explore our full potential.

I can’t address all 14 tracks here, but here are some additional highlights: “Melt” is another haunting, chanting sort of vocal, with a reverent and ceremonial feel to it. “River’s Edge” is calming, flowing, and “groovy,” with its almost 10 minutes of rhythmic percussion, nature sounds, guitar, and deep vocal, and it is a favorite on this album. “Call” is soothing to the soul and again has a “ceremonial” vibe to it. It also features the magic of when Raphael recorded a Scarlet Tanager responding to the steel drum heard in the track. This recording served as inspiration for the call and response melody heard between the bird, the steel drum and the flute. Very nicely done.

Another favorite is “Bear Cave,” which features guitar, a cool, non-lyric, lush vocals by Raphael, drumming, and interesting percussion. The 7-1/2 minute “Release” invites us to do just that and essentially get out of our own way by releasing that which no longer is necessary. More beautiful vocals, guitar, and flute lend perfectly to this atmosphere.

This fascinating album closes out with the 4:44 piece, “Twin Eagle.” Once again, deeply spiritual, with its compelling Native American style flute that speaks directly to the soul, it also features the same tortoise shelled stringed instrument, a rainstick, and the unusual percussive element of a quart sized Ball Jar being played with water in it. The album is a calming journey to the depths of the soul. “Potential” is artistically creative and worth exploring for those seeking healing and deep, inner peace.

Official artist website:
Get/listen to “Potential” on Amazon, Spotify, and Apple Music:

Broadcast and Media Promotion:
Ed and Stacey Bonk

Rating: Very Good +   Very Good +
- reviewed by Dyan Garris on 10/14/2021
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