When a musician, especially an instrumental musician, creates their own album you ask yourself a couple of questions. How well does the musician play their instrument? How good is the overall sound (which includes the melodic content, the other musicians and the arrangements)? Listening to the album Rainbow Road by violinist Nancy Shoop-Wu, the answer to the first question is that she is an outstanding musician. That is undeniable. And she should be since has played violin with major symphony orchestras for several decades from Venezuela to New England to Hawaii. The answer to the second question is that she writes strong melodies and surrounds herself with top musicians including pianist Derek Nakamoto (who also produced), Hawaiian slack-key guitarists Ian O’Sullivan and Jeff Peterson, bassist Dean Tara and drummer Garin Poliahu. Nancy has lived in Hawaii for many years and all of the musicians also are from Hawaii (except, I think, Derek Nakamoto lives in California). The musicians are all strong, but I wish Nakamoto would have gotten a little more chance to solo alongside Shoop-Wu, and, unfortunately, the two acoustic guitarists can barely be heard in the background (but what you can hear is excellent). So this is a very strong recording in terms of song craftsmanship and violin playing. It is definitely a violin showcase, so for anyone who enjoys great violin playing, here is an ideal CD. Because Shoop-Wu plays violin, and because of her classical background, this album could be considered modern-classical. But it is probably a better fit in the new age genre where this type of sound really goes over well, although there are more pianists in new age than violinists. And because of the slack key guitars adding a mild Hawaii feeling (and a couple of ethnic hand drums on one track), the music also has hints of world-fusion. Nancy says she was inspired by the people and places on the Hawaiian Islands. It is a gorgeous place, as the photography on the front and back covers of the CD attest. Apparently this is her first album to be released outside of Hawaii and it should win her admirers everywhere.