Jess And The Bandits - Smoke & Mirrors

Published Monday 15th January 2018
Jess And The Bandits - Smoke & Mirrors
Jess And The Bandits - Smoke & Mirrors

STYLE: Country
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 166708-26062
LABEL: After Midnight Girl Entertainm

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

If you've been following the way in which the country/Americana scene has been developing in Europe over the last two or three years you'll know a new young audience are now enjoying a music which country purists and Nashville nostalgists aren't very happy to call country but with its pop and rock elements is a perfect framework for the stories-in-song and rural sensibilities of a new wave of artists. Jess And The Bandits are unusual in that Jessica Clemmons is from Texas but her accompanying Bandits are all Brits. Anyone who saw Jess's appearance on Songs Of Praise will know that this sassy powerhouse of a singer is a Christian and this album is even better than their debut 'Here We Go Again'. The passionate "World Still Round" is built around a solid guitar riff and has some intriguing lyrics ("I've dealt the cards, I've played the clown/Followed someone's Christmas eve to another hometown/I've seen closing times, Sunday morning pews/I've been a few first dates and I've been yesterday's news/I'm still searching for the one who won't make me search anymore"). Another great cut is "Sister" complete with a gospel-style choir over some words of affirmation ("Hold your head high/Don't let it fall/You can get through this"). In an interview recently Jess said she wanted for her album to "go headfirst into a gospel feel." With that choir popping up on several songs, that's just what she's done.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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