Jill Rogers & Crying Time
Many Worlds Theory
Timeless Honky-Tonk Toe Tappers and Tearjerkers Straight Outta Oakland.
For a variety of reasons I’ve just gone through a period where all I wanted to listen to was ‘intense’ and ‘deep’ music; generally provided by solo singer-songwriters; so it was a welcome change when I played this album for the first time; just as the Spring flowers began to bloom.
Yes; I know …. I am and always have been a hopeless romantic; and music has always been my soundtrack.
Although the accompanying bio is two A4 pages long, all I know and you need to know is that Jill Rogers & Crying Time come from Oakland, play glorious and naturally sweet Country Music and have done for more years than they care to remember, and 10 in this particular guise.
While I associate Oakland with ROCK music; opening song Bird Song is fundamentally a West Coast Alt. Country song with more than a hint of Linda Ronstadt and/or Emmylou Harris in the way Jill Rogers’ sings a heartbreakingly glorious tale of a woman trapped in a loveless relationship;
“Isn’t it lovely when the bluebird sings
Telling me sweetly how to spread my wings
It’ll be better now she’s promising
Open your heart to what tomorrow brings.”
If you casually picked this CD up in a shop, the Western shirts and aged Stetson hats that the band wear in their photos coupled to album titles like California Waltz, Evangeline, Speedwell and the slow and sensual Tears, Time & Ink will leave you in no doubt as to what to expect; and you won’t be disappointed.
Although never troubling the CMA or Grammy committees over the years; the assorted songwriters here certainly know how to write and arrange a Country song like the best over the years.
The searing fiddle that opens this quality cover of Del McCrory’s More Often Than Once In a While will catch your attention and not let go as Jill goes for your tear glands and doesn’t let go until tears run down your cheeks.
As Gretchen Peters famously wrote “Sad Songs Make Me Happy” and that’s exactly what you get here; beautiful, yet melancholic songs that invariably paints vivid pictures in your head; not least the title track Many Worlds Theory, which allegedly questions the idea of quantum mechanics in life, love and relationships …. or it could just be a Helluva break-up song …. you decide!
The band even find time for a delightful instrumental; Devil In The Details, which gives all of the players the opportunity to show how good they are.
There are plenty of individual songs here that will sound fabulous on the radio, but if you play it at home prepare yourself that you won’t be able to sit still and read a book or magazine when it’s on as your toes will automatically tap and your hips’ wiggle; especially during the beguiling The Mess (That Used To Be Me) and/or the majestic Golden Hour … alongside plenty of others.
I absolutely adore the album closer, You Left Me a Long Time Ago; and the title says it all really; but the melody and the way Jill unravels the story will leave you with a knot in your stomach and a smile on your face.
There’s a big part of me that wants to make that my Favourite Song here; but logic dictates that the Mariachi inspired danceathon I Only Cry When I’m Drinkin’ wins the accolade as it’s an absolute doozy of a song and when I played it on my radio show was inundated with two messages to play it again!
It’s the type of Honky Tonk belter that I associate with Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline; but will resonate with plenty of women the world over as they think of that cheatin’, gamblin’ SOB that they still love.
As I said at the beginning Jill Rogers & Crying Time have been around in this format for 10 whole years, and I’m only discovering them now …… but with songs of this hue and quality they won’t remain a secret outside California for much longer.
Released 7th April 2023
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