Blues Matters Review

by Rhys Williams
"Devoe’s voice is the kind of timeless and potent blues-gospel voice we tend not to hear too often nowadays, there’s hints of Janis Joplin, Etta James and Aretha Franklin and even, at times, Tina Turner. Perhaps the most obvious modern comparison is Californian songstress Beth Hart, though there’s far less country in Devoe’s voice, which eschews Hart’s somewhat sunny disposition for more of the impassioned gospel and world-weary soul inflections of the great female blues singers. Her voice is dynamic and diverse though, melodic and purring one moment, vengeful and snarling the next, yet always emotionally and stylistically connected to her material."

Jennie DeVoe - Radiator: The Bristol Sessions

 

Financed by her fans through a Kick-starter campaign, which saw singer/songwriter Jennie Devoe reach her target of $35,000 in a little over a month, Radiator arrives to an already enthusiastic legion of grassroots fans. However, this could be the release that ultimately elevates Devoe to even greater commercial success and earns her even more loyal devotees.

Devoe’s voice is the kind of timeless and potent blues-gospel voice we tend not to hear too often nowadays, there’s hints of Janis Joplin, Etta James and Aretha Franklin and even, at times, Tina Turner. Perhaps the most obvious modern comparison is Californian songstress Beth Hart, though there’s far less country in Devoe’s voice, which eschews Hart’s somewhat sunny disposition for more of the impassioned gospel and world-weary soul inflections of the great female blues singers. Her voice is dynamic and diverse though, melodic and purring one moment, vengeful and snarling the next, yet always emotionally and stylistically connected to her material. Radiator is an all-original collection and as such highlights the singer’s strength as a diverse songwriter too.

"Keep The Faith" and "I’ll Keep You Alive" could’ve come straight out of Carole King-era Brill Building, whereas "You Belong To Me" has a much more considered Soul-revival sound that wouldn’t sound out of place on the next Adele or Duffy album. She’s also more than happy to let rip and show the extent of her impressive vocal talents on heavier material, such as album highlight "Shovel & Spoon," where her vocal delivery becomes deliberately unhinged and aggressive. With an already eclectic yet exclusive set of high-profile fans and supporters, such as Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, Lucinda Williams, and Jack Johnson it looks unlikely that Devoe will need the help of fan fundraising again anytime soon, however those who contributed this time around can rest assured they’ve invested their money wisely. Anyone investing their time in this release is sure to feel the same.

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