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CD REVIEW: Jane Fallon - Tangled in a Tree

by: Cyrus Rhodes

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"Fallon is one of the good artists in a world full of soulless clutter."

- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-

 

 

 

Artist: Jane Fallon

CD: Tangled in a Tree

Label: Independent Artist

Website: http://www.janefallon.com/

Purchase Link: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/janefallon

Genre: Folk, Americana, Singer/Songwriter, Blues, Acoustic Pop, Saloon Jazz
Sounds Like: Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, Carol King. Maria Muldaur, Peter, Paul and Mary, Linda Rondstadt, Bonnie Raitt

Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/ Musicianship Grade: 9/10

Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10

Best Songs: Travelin’ Through, That’s enough for Me, One More Last Time, He Believes in Love, Foolish Pleasures

Weakness: More solo segments (other than guitar), more instrumentation, CD manufacturing

 

CD REVIEW:

 

(NEW HAMPSHIRE) Jane was raised in rural California and Oregon in a large musical family. She began writing and performing at an early age and followed that up with 13 years of classical voice training and performance in a cappella groups. Her formal training, combined with a literature degree led to the inevitable – a lifetime love affair with songwriting. She figures she has written several hundred songs, several of which have received songwriting awards. Jane is working on her 5th CD of original music and performs regularly around the greater New England area including The Stone Church in Newmarket, and the Boston Folk Festival. Her songs have been heard on over 100 radio stations in the US and abroad including NPR, The Midnight Special, and WUMB Boston. This fall, Jane is publishing her first book, a unique combination of music and story. Part biography, part travelogue, part historical treatise, part creative exploration, the book chronicles the life of her dad from his journey in 1936 as an 11 year old from the depressed state of Arkansas to the grand promise of California and continues through his life until it culminates in his last job as a cattle rancher in Oregon. This latest release “Tangled in a Tree” was released in 2014.

 

The CD quickly takes flight with “Make it Right” a smooth intro groove that serves inviting vocals against full-tilt rhythm section, amazing acoustic guitar, inviting strings set against a mesmerizing vocal front from Fallon. Track 2 “Humming Lake” presents an inviting heartfelt follow-up piece that serves up slamming slide guitar, methodical musical build, and rich melody against impressive guitar ambience a grand slam chorus. This piece flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition making for an impressive follow-up statement.  Track 3 “That’s Enough For Me” serves up an impressive Folksy Americana ballad painted against impressive harmonies, hypnotic vocal groove and well placed Americana fretwork. I would classify this style of as classic Americana, Folk, Blues, Singer/Songwriter to Acoustic Pop and even Saloon Jazz. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear the musicianship from everyone involved is clearly above the bar with impressive bass lines, slamming solos, well placed Mandolin, Eloquent Strings, impressive solo guitar licks, Sporadic Percussive elements, Violin, Cello, Dobro, Slide Guitar, organ and thick soulful harmonies all built upon a thick as an impressive rhythm section. Song for song the effective combination of Fallon’s voice, world class songwriting and top flight musicianship it’s never once called into question. Now turning our attention over to Fallon, as for her vocal abilities - she is quite impressive and clearly feels comfortable in her own skin by letting it all hang out musically. As an artists she is quite inspirational because she is being true to herself. Her musical/vocal style is cut from the cloth of Peter, Paul and Mary, Maria Muldaur, Linda Rondstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell and Carol King. Fallon showcases an infectious and appealing mezzo-soprano persona with a unique appeal makes her a bit magical. She reminds me a lot of Anne Murray and Joni Mitchell. Fallon showcases an impressive vibrato and falsetto. All of this makes for a strong and confident, experienced vocal ability across the board. I especially like how her voice just sort of flutters melodically with the music. Did I mention she also plays Guitar? Kudos goes out to the amazing guitar work from Steve Gilligan. This latest CD from Jane Fallon delivers 12 compelling tracks all providing an interesting snapshot of a clairvoyant, wise and spiritual artist. All songs deliver thought provoking lyrical wisdom with messages that are positive, passionate and extremely captivating and full of powerful wisdom. From grooving “Daddy Was a Cowboy” to melodic “Snow Angel” to rocking “Waiting on Oblivion” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 12 “Talk to Me” the perfect wrap for a catalogue like this. There’s even a bonus track called “A Cappella Ella.”

 

It’s hard to find any serious weaknesses when listening to the CD. There are a few minor things that I believe could make it even better. I wish there were a few more solo segments throughout the CD – other than guitar. Other Instruments like Piano, Harmonica, Electric Piano, Pedal Steel and Accordion would also complement this catalog very, very, well. I don’t get the album title and how it applies to the catalog - with respect to it's overall message. The actual CD itself is not made of high quality silk screen material. Some aspects of the production sound a bit dated reminiscent of music popular 20+ years ago - but this works well within the confines of Fallon's  down home Folk sound anyway.

 

From start to finish this latest release from Jane Fallon entitled "Tangled in a Tree” is a powerful, inspirational, uplifting, delightful and impressive catalogue of music. The music is very consistent, well-crafted and extremely entertaining. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire catalogue. The production strokes: writing and playing abilities of this production are rock solid. The catchy folksy melodies and harmonies are well crafted and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with rich conventional wisdom and a strong spiritual connection may will gravitate to. The songwriting – all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. The writing, playing and singing abilities of Jane Fallon and her band are rock solid. The artistic presence from Fallon is impressive and her overall persona is something many folks will gravitate towards. Jane Fallon is one of the good artists in a world full of soulless clutter.

 

 Cyrus Rhodes