Record Of The Week # 53

November 10, 2018

Jamie Lin Wilson – Jumping Over Rocks

A stand out release from the steady stream of new music is Jamie Lin Wilson’s second solo album Jumping Over Rocks. Ten tracks of Country Americana include nine original compositions, several in collaboration and one remarkable cover: more of that later.

From the first notes of “Faithful & True” you know you’re in the presence of something exceptional. You’ll find a crystal clear voice with pure and sweet tones. However, it’s drenched in heartfelt emotion.This slow ballad tells the story of her relationship with its frailties and failures containing a plea for her lover to accept her for what she is.

“The Being Gone” seems autobiographical with the opening line “Well I’m headed back from Dallas two days gone and gone to hell”: a weary travelling musician with home on her mind. The track, and album, sound beautifully produced (Scott Davis) and a tribute to the band’s talent is that it was all recorded in four days in Austin, TX. All tracks were cut live which will drive listeners to check out her touring plans.

Lyrically it’s all observational and confessional, and often delivered in a conversational style. She says that she’s made music and toured forever but stopped at regular intervals to have and raise children. Predictably with such a background there is a lot of maturity and confidence – not unlike Amanda Anne Platt. Similarly each song relies on an excellent melody and arrangement.

If you’re going to pick a cover then Guy Clark’s 1975 “Instant Coffee Blues” is a great choice. Wilson captures Clark’s tired and lost delivery of empty lives charting a downward trajectory. Jack Ingram takes a verse as the man “she took home for reasons that she didn’t understand.” Sparing pedal steel keeps them company. (One for my end of year compilation album).

“Death & Life” took Wilson four years to write and hinges off the story of a premature death and how the mourners (mother and son) coped. A beautiful lyric that address the gaps that occur when such events happen and how the survivors clamber back into light. With a slow and atmospheric backing driven by Charlie Sexton’s guitar 

As always I wonder how such a talent is not headlining the Grand Ole Opry but in fairness there’s such a long queue of hard working, yet seemingly invisible, troubadours ahead of her. 

I truly love this album. You need to hear it or own it.

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