Jessica Rhayne “Song in Me” (Self Released, 2016)

You’d swear it was going to be Joni Mitchel from the opening bars, its achingly beautiful mid-tempo lament, with a china gong flourish landing like tears dropping in to a quickly emptying whisky glass – you know something special has landed.  It’s a record of the flourish, gorgeous embellishments that set this record apart, built like an old Merc, all hand finished leather upholstery and sweet tuned blocks.  Rhayne has gone that next step, great songs, great delivery, but with an ear that has fostered enough twang to feel Americana enough for the purist and pop enough to garner her widespread appeal.

Think Catlin Rose, The Kitt and enough nouse to keep it this side of big hat and YeeHaw.  Good to be Alive in the Country, with its big open skies, subtle piano, beefy organ and wonderful pedal steel should keep her in work for years.

There is a passage at the start of My World, just her voice and the guitar that the production is emphatically perfect the world just stops momentarily as you just bask in her beautiful tone.  The record is awash with these hypnotising moments.  Imagine wild camping, waking on a dewy morning, washing your face in a stream – that’s how this record makes you feel.

It’s a sharp reality that much of what you hear in the next year won’t be half of what this record is. Own it.

Author: Rudie Hayes

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show – The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session – playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

Leave a comment..