‘What If’ from Lone Star State native Jessica Clemmons(February 17, 2014)
Yeah, I know it’s not folk as such. On the other hand it’s not pure country. Neither is it unadulterated rock. And I know I’m going to hear people asking why I’m reviewing country-rock on a folk site. Suffice to say that once you’ve heard ‘What If’ the EP from Lone Star State native Jessica Clemmons, you will not give a damn about classification, you’ll just recognise a fine voice. Powerful, soulful, passionate, emotional - pick your word - describing this lady’s voice needs adjectives that convey the pure drive that rips out of the speakers, grabs attention and carries you along.
Jessica took a trip to Nashville and teamed up with an enviable talent pool, Jeff Cohen, Sherrie Austin, James T Slater and Lindsey Ray, to produce five songs to take you places where love lives, emotion airs, heartache hovers and feelings fragment. The force in these songs makes its presence felt from the first: ‘Love Like That’ punches its hard-hitting point across ripping guitars and driven drums, the aching question ‘What If’ sweeps in and literally hits where it hurts, while the sublimely self-sufficient ‘Single Tonight’ offers its own liberated spirit.
Playing on ‘What If’ are Larry Beaird (acoustic guitars) Kenny Greenberg (electric guitars) Dan Dugmore (steel guitars) Mike Rojas (piano, keyboards) Eli Beaird (bass) Chad Cromwell (drums) Mike Brignadello (bass ‘What If’) Tommy Horden (drums ‘What If’).
I’m told that Jessica supported a well-known boy band tour. Supported? Really? Were I managing a main-line band I wouldn’t let this superb voice within a mile - you can almost hear the audience muttering: “Go on then, follow that!”
Reviewer: Tim Carroll