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Karen Jonas

Lucky, Revisited

Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from Karen Jonas. This one was released just over a year after that disc. As good as that one was, I think this might surpass it. Again, the musical genre choices are far afield from one another. Yet the sense of quality and strength of the vocals creates a unified listening experience. I highly recommend this album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Ophelia
This is a powerhouse bluegrass based cut. It's so energized and so fun. I really love the fast-paced guitar picking on this thing.
Lovesick Blues
A slower moving cut, this has a real stripped back, down-home sound. It's effective and fun.
Oklahoma Lottery
Here we get something that has a bit of a dreamy, balladic approach to it. The cut has a jazzy kind of instrumental break. This is packed full of magic. It's one of the real highlights of the set.
Lucky
Old school jazz and blues are the driving elements on this laid back, but exciting tune. The guitar fills are so classic and so cool. The vocal delivery has so much style and passion. This is another standout tune.
It Takes a Lot to Laugh It Takes a Train to Cry
I love the Americana vibe of this cut. It's a slow moving and mellow number. It has some killer, echoey guitar soloing. This is all class and style.
Butter
There is a version of this tune on the other set I've reviewed from Jonas. This is a shorter take. It has a real down-home blues style to it.
Country Songs
Now, here we find ourselves settling into some vintage electric guitar based country music. This seems like an artifact of an older time. It's effective and authentic in nature.
Wasting Time
I love the climbing, soaring instrumental section later in this track. I'm reminded a bit of Mazzy Star on this cut. It has a cool alternative rock meets Americana vibe to it. It's a highlight of the disc, too.
River Song
I can't see that title and think of anything but "Doctor Who." This has a nice country folk vibe to it. There is a bluesy edge, too.
Money
A classic rockabilly groove with mostly spoken vocal bring a cool retro sound to this piece. The parental advisory earned by the lyrics puts this very much in a modern zone, though.
Gospel of the Road
A slower moving, more stripped back, bluesy kind of number, this is also a cool cut.
 
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