Carnival of Hopes
Scrumptious, Thoughtful and Deeply Personal Songs from The Blue Ridge Mountains.
Jane Kramer has been on my peripheral radar for a couple of years now; but this is the first album of hers that I’ve managed to get my grubby mits on.
Opening song Halfway Gone sets the scene with some lovely Western Swing fiddle and geetar plus a honey soaked voice straight out of Gone With The Wind.
Your Evergreen Heart and the delightful Down South are in a similar vein and I was hooked like a big ole’ catfish on a Spring evening.
Good Woman, on the other hand is a soft and breathy acoustic Folk song that the likes of Mary Gauthier or Nanci Griffith would be very proud of.
Ms. Kramer is very articulate and imaginative; both of which come to fruition on Truck Stop Stars and later Highways, Rivers and Scars; with each song telling timeless stories over sweet acoustic backing.
The strongest song here; and the one that nearly brought a tear to my eye is the banjo picked Good Woman; which sounds as if it is from the very bottom of her heart and the mournful fiddle in the background makes an already great song; very, very memorable.
To some degree singer-songwriters are two a’ penny these days; certainly my mailbag is full to bursting with such discs; so it takes something really special to stand out in that crowd; and Jane Kramer is very special indeed. Her honey-smoked voice is especially distinctive; in as much as I can’t really compare it to anyone else; and that’s meant as a huge compliment.
The album closes with two of the finest songs you will hear in 2016; Truth Tellin’ Lies; had me re-winding the CD 4 times the first time I heard it in an effort to pick up every single word and the effort was well worth it.
‘Save the best ’till last’ could be true of Dusty Wings which closes Carnival of Hopes; as it is a banjo and fiddled fuelled hoe-down with Jane sounding like she’s having the time of her life; as you will too.
This album, dear reader is what Roots Music is all about and I urge you to seekit out ASAP.
Released UK January 8th 2016
Released USA February 7th 2016