Musicians throughout Northern Michigan put a measure of heart & soul into their CDs, which tend to be locally recorded and sold from the bandstand at their shows. Heres the latest from songwriters and singers around the region.
A Little Slice Jenny Thomas
Perhaps the greatest challenge for any musician is to craft a song that will live on in the listeners memory. How many times have you gone to a concert and come away unable to recall any memorable songs or what the singer had to say?
Thats not the case for singer/songwriter Jenny Thomas, who has a gift for writing acoustic songs that take root and blossom in the listeners heart. She wins you over with vivid images, optimistic melodies and a percolating, upbeat tempo. As a singer, theres a shot of honey in the timbre of her voice -- a gift which draws the listener in, making you feel like a close friend. Her live performances are also noteworthy for their inviting, even delivery and assured stage presence. As one fan says, Everybody likes Jenny Thomas.
Examples of her best work are on this six-song EP, particularly Oh My Soul, a bouncy melody that captures the spirit of Northern Michigan with a driving rhythm and zinger lines such as Take me for a ride on the back of a whitetail deer. Another standout is Betsy Brown, about a pillar of the community who seems to have it made, but is in fact fatally unhappy. Its shocker ending puts one in mind of classic ballads such as Simon and Garfunkels Richard Corey or Dylans John Brown.
A graphic designer from Traverse City, Thomass themes embrace a love of family and friends. On this CD, which is available at Horizon Books and Borders, she gets an assist from Will Thomas on drums, Crispin Campbell on cello, and the recording talents of Patrick Niemisto. A Little Slice is a great representation of her live show -- increasingly, she is in demand as the opening act for folk stars passing through venues such as the InsideOut Gallery.