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Wings of Silver

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Album Review

Wings of Silver is Common Ground's first album after original lead singer/songwriter Cheryl Cloud's death, and it conveys the group's emotional journey through the intensity of the operations and therapy Cloud underwent in her battle against the cancer that claimed her life in 1995. Wings of Silver both mourns Cloud's loss and celebrates her life by continuing her music, as she asked the band to do. Mark Cloud, Cheryl Cloud's husband, takes over the lead vocals on this album, which was released prior to new lead singer Karen Ambellan joining Common Ground later in 1996. Particularly touching is "The Secret Is You," Cheryl Cloud's song in honor of husband Mark Cloud's love and support. Marcy Hogan added viola accompaniment to Cheryl Cloud's vocals and guitar after her death. The instrumental "Sidh Beg Sidh Mor" represents the group's Celtic influence. "What Did They Say About Me?" and "Violated" deal with the down side of the hospital experience — medical staff talking about the patient and forgetting her name, and the invasive feeling of some of the treatments. Other noteworthy performances are the title song and "One Last Song for the Road," a concert favorite that appropriately closes the album. While casual listeners looking only for light, upbeat tunes may not know how to deal with the emotional intensity of some of the songs on this album, longtime fans will value the work for those same lyrics. Also, others going through the cancer treatment process will find that the honesty and depth of this material speaks directly to their experience. Wings of Silver also marks a transition point in Common Ground's history, as the remaining members dealt with losing Cheryl Cloud and yet upheld her request to keep the music alive. Wings of Silver is a necessary and worthy effort, honoring the will to keep going, even in the face of great loss.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

In 1978, Mark Cloud (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, dobro, mandolin, Appalachian dulcimer, keyboards) and Cheryl Cloud (songwriter, lead vocals, acoustic guitar) formed Common Ground, a folk-rock band featuring both traditional Celtic music and Cheryl's original songs. They were joined by Marcy Hogan (vocals, viola, keyboards), Scott Van Dusen (drums, percussion), and Bill Carrigan (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar). They were originally billed as Cheryl Cloud and Common Ground, becoming simply...
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Wings of Silver, Common Ground
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