Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
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Greatest living female singer
R. Mason | 03/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jonell Mosser has to be the best living non-classical female singer today. This album is absolutely incredible. The power and beauty of her voice is quite unbelievable. I love Townes Van Zandts songs and she has re-interpreted them in her own unique blues style. It's amazing to me that more people don't know about her. I guess the only negative thing that can be said about this album is that Mosser's amazing and intense singing distracts the attention a little from TVZ's poetry.
I give this album 10 stars out of 5."
R. Mason | Tennessee, USA | 02/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jonell is one of those performers who is at her best when captured live. She pours her whole heart and soul into each song. This CD is a beautiful tribute to Townes Van Zandt and has many sparkling moments. I would recommend it to anyone with an ear for good music. The arrangements are excellent and the production top notch. If you ever do get the chance to hear Jonell live don't miss it. You will have a fine time, indeed!"
Well chosen songs given a blues-rock edge
Colin Spence | Formby, UK | 06/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the only album by Jonell Mosser that I have, and I'm not familiar with her other music (although I've heard her as a harmony vocalist on a Ray Bonneville album), nor am I that familiar with the songs of Townes Van Zandt (apart from a cover of 'Nothin' by Robert Plant, and 'Marie' - a duet with Willie Nelson). I thought I'd give 'Around Townes' a try because, from time to time, I like to 'discover' music by lesser known artists.
Lyrically, the songs have a contemporary country/folk flavour, and whilst I wouldn't consider 'Around Townes' to be an album of blues music, I think blues and blues-rock are significant influences in terms of its musical presentation. JM is a good singer with a strong soulful voice; another reviewer describes it as 'a cross between Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt', and I wouldn't argue with this. She sings higher up the range than does Bonnie Raitt and her voice has a bit more edge and power, but her vocals are less harsh and gritty than those of Janis Joplin. As befits the type of music, instruments played include: electric guitar, piano, Hammond B-3, electric bass, drums and percussion, and 3 tracks feature electric slide. Also, one track has mandolin and the final track includes a string arrangement.
All 13 songs are written by Townes Van Zandt. He writes heartfelt, bittersweet songs with evocative lyrics - with just a little bit of angst, here and there; the melodies are memorable - although at times, I thought somewhat predictable also. There are no songs that I dislike, the following are amongst my favourites :
'Where I Lead Me' - a straight-ahead blues-rocker, JM belts out the vocals without going OTT, and Bob Britt puts away some tasty riffs on electric lead; 'No Place To Fall' - a slow tempo, soul-drenched song; Johnny Neel tinkles the ivories on piano and Hammond to give it a 'gospel-jazz' feel; 'You Are Not Needed Now' - another slow tempo, soulful tune; beautiful melody and great lyrics; Nothin' - a bluesy and edgy mid-tempo song with some outstanding vocals from JM; terrific playing from the band, including a one minute plus percussion solo underscored by piano and electric slide (at the end of the song); 'Flyin' Shoes' - a slow tempo pop-rock ballad, it features piano and Hammond, with a touch of electric guitar.
This album was originally released about 6 months prior to the death of Townes Van Zandt; it strikes me as one which, by its careful selection of songs, is a genuine tribute to a fellow artist. 'Around Townes' is an album of thoughtfully arranged blues-rock (and some occasional country-rock), with good lyrics and all-round accomplished performances.