In an age where stardom can be instantaneous, it's always nice when you are made aware of an artist that has been quietly developing their craft in to something really special. North Carolina native Jeanne Jolly has taken a long and varied road prior to the release of her debut full-length album, "Angels", having resided in Boston, Los Angeles and of course, North Carolina. The result is a solid, warm and varied album that will satisfy virtually all who are fortunate enough to listen.
There is a little bit of jazz, a little bit of roots rock, and a whole lot of straight ahead country music. The opening track, "Angels of Hayward Street", seemingly sets an early, dark tone for the album, but Jolly then takes us over to a beautiful love song with the second track "Sweet Love." A class of lost souls has their story told on "Happy Days Cafe." One of the best aspects of this album is that it's tough to categorize, which makes it a perfect Americana record.
Trained in opera, Jolly really demonstrates her incredible diversity on several of the tracks on this album, but none more so than on "Tear Soup", a story song about trying to get past total and complete heartbreak ... to varying degrees of non-success. It takes a special talent to be able to weave in a classic country sound with opera, and Jolly pulls it off in spades. In fact, I would suspect this task has never been attempted before now.
Another strong track (among the many), is "Long Way Home." Pedal steel aficionados will love the intro, and fans of story songs will love the lyrics of what I suspect is an autobiographical song. This is a great story song about coming home to, in this case, a life North Carolina after an extended period of time away.
One of the final tracks on the album, "The Kiss", takes on an almost ethereal sound with a soft and subtle drum beat in the background and backing vocals that invoke images of a church choir. It's a beautiful performance that once again shows the versatility of this very talented young lady.
Jeanne Jolly is currently on tour supporting "Angel", an album that was released back in October 2012. Fresh off a successful show last night at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania (read the review here), Jolly will be performing tonight at Perks and Corks Wine and Song, in Westerly, Rhode Island; at the Abilene Bar and Lounge in Rochester, New York on Tuesday February 26, and at Library III in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. Jolly will play at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City on Saturday March 1. If you're in those areas, do go and check out this gifted singer-songwriter and performer. And while you're there, purchase this record, it's one worthy of your time and money.
Click here for more on Jeanne Jolly and to purchase the album