Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
Jessie Rae is blues/folk/pop band hailing from Portland Oregon. They are led by Joan M. Meyer (Singer/songwriter, guitar, bass, keyboards) who provides the edgy from the gut vocals that all blues or blues influenced music requires. There are many contributors to their projects however I need to cite Lauren G. Semler (Guitar, bass, backup vocals) as another key member. He plays some mighty fine guitar and provides some crafty slide guitar when called upon. Both members collaborate on the production end of the equation and Joan also gets behind the boards for the engineering. So to say they have it all covered is spot on.
Blue Funk is their most recent release. Joan’s vocals find the groove especially well when “Back Then” starts. They lay down a funky groove and take a look at the past of the character in the song. The presence of Joan’s vocal style hits home and the band is crackin’ on all cylinders. Besides the funk filled guitar lines the bass and drums just cook right along, and then you get some cow bell to drive it along another step further as the six string hollers out “Hear Me!”
“Garden of Eden” makes the entire album for me. It was without a doubt the apex of the entire recording. John Dawson of New Riders of the Purple Sage wrote the song. It’s the only cover on the album. All the rest are original songs. The track carries a great message, the music and Joan’s vocals are perfect as well. She sings “We live in the Garden of Eden and we want to tear it down.” That is one of many messages that ring true in our world today. Lauren’s slide work gives the oomph necessary to get your attention and really hear what Joan is singing about.
The same thing happens with the curtain closer “Thank You.” It is another message about being thankful and grateful from the singer. Once again the slide guitar rules the day and the funky guitar lines intermingle with a strong bottom line as the bass and drums fall into sync and take a few bows of their own. It is the appropriate follow up to the previous track and an excellent choice to close out the album.
Jessie Rae is an effective combination of blues, folk and pop. This is not traditional blues however what they do is take the foundation of that sound and build on it and stretch things out a bit. There are enough elements of all three genres to keep it interesting from start to finish. Check out Blue Funk for a soulful musical cruise.
Key Tracks: Garden of Eden, Thank You, Back Then
July 29, 2016
Review Provided By Write A Music Review
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"Now That We Know" from Blue Funk is podcast episode #435, a 30 minute Show including 8 songs on the Women of Substance Radio & Podcast as of July 20th. @wosradio
"Blue Funk" title track on Podcast Episode #444, a 30 minute show including 8 songs on the Women of Substance Radio & Podcast as of August 2nd. @wosradio
Jessie Rae's song "In My Wake" from Blue Funk was featured on the episode of GoGirlsMusic Hour of Female Frequency on RadioNowhere on Wednesday, July 13th at 3pm EST at www.radionowhere903.com! Rorie Kelly and Delia the Artist co-hosted via Skype. Other GoGirls Elite artists picked for this show include Eleanor Kleiner with The Whispering Tree, Keidra Chaney with Sole Heiress, Saniyé, Dan and Faith, Emma Back, HASINA, The Steph Pappas Experience, Lucy Kalantari, Linq, rorie kelly and Trumpet Grrrl!
@DeliatheArtist, hashtag #GGMHour!
5 songs from Jessie Rae's "Blue Funk" CD now playing on KC Cafe Radio! All radio play on KC Cafe Radio is reported to Roots Music Report! Friends and Fans can digitally request music to be played: 2 songs per hour and up to 10 songs in a 24-hour period. However, if our music has been played or requested on the station within the last 2 hours, the music will not be available for request. So just bookmark the page and check back later to request again! With many thanks to Kathy Forste!
What people are saying about Blue Funk
The band Jessie Rae, named after the bandleader Joan Meyer's grandmother (first name) and her sister (middle name), sustain a funky, blues, rock, reggae beat, with dashes of country throughout their infectious new release Out Of The Blue.
Meyer's vocal style is reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt. With rich and smooth tones full of soul drenched from-the-gut inflections, she follows the one-two punch of the coordinated rhythm section comprised of herself and Phil Hornik (bass), and Kipp Crawford (drums), punctuated by stinging guitar lines from the axes of Jim Bronson and Lauren Semler. Both lead guitar players sound seasoned on all accounts throughout this solid session.
The production and mix are very good accentuating the strong points of the band's sound and varying styles. The first three tracks are addicting, "Blue Armor," "Can You Explain" and "Around Here," are filled with funky hooks that latch on and never let you go. Meyer's vocals are right on time and perfectly keyed for the music; she sounds laid back but expressive, allowing the blues influence to take precedence in nearly every track. Although other influences are evident in their sound, the blues seems to be the common denominator everything else stems from. This one all-important factor actually makes each track stand on its own with the various flavors added to the mix. "Say What You Mean" would be a nice choice for a single to push the band into the different markets they fit into, which would be contemporary adult, pop, blues and pop for that particular track. Ironically the one instrumental on the entire CD is titled "Affectionate Soul," which I could see having plenty of great lyrical content, yet the title fits the track very well, it's a warm and rich tapestry of sounds marked by stellar musicianship.
There is nothing lacking in the variety department on this CD. Everyone uses his or her talents at the optimal level, which in fact became obvious to me early on listening to this music. I am glad to say a good chunk of this CD fits darn snuggly into the da blues-rock category and amongst others, and that's all right with me.
01. Blue Armor (5:09) 02. Can You Explain (5:27) 03. Around Here (4:38) 04. Miracle (5:40) 05. Say What You Mean (4:14) 06. Affectionate Soul (4:17) 07. Walk with You (5:26) 08. It Came Down to Me (5:11) 09. Ground Zero (4:09) 10. Don't Care (3:44)
© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck, May 31, 2004
Credits: Joan Meyer-lead vocals, backup vocals, rhythm guitar, bass, synth Lauren Semler-lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, backup vocals Jim Bronson-lead guitar, rhythm guitar Matt Burnett-keyboards Wendy Owens-percussion, backup vocals Kipp Crawford-drums Phil Hornik-bass Donna Rae-backup vocals Clif Koufman-congas Ian Manheimer-backup vocals.
"Presented with the flair of a firecracker, the instant bang of reggae, blues, folk and R&B crash together in a vibrant, colorful combination from “Out of the Blue”, the junior release from band Jessie Rae. From start to finish the overall mood of the CD is one, long, energetic jam session complete with an invitation to the listener to join in on the ride and plug in as well. “Out of the Blue” is driven by powerful melodies and lead singer Joan Meyer’s seductive vocals that would get a nod from musicians such as Stevie Nicks and Bonnie Rait. Adventure and passion swings high from songs like, “Walk With You”, a fun-filled tune that will have you singing along and tapping your foot to the beat. A spiritually thrilling tornado of sounds, instrumentation and vibrant energy, “Out of the Blue” is enough ear candy to please the whole family.
Hit Picks: 'Blue Armor' and 'Walk with You'"
—Heather Corcoran, GoGirlsMusic.com, Jessie Rae "Out of the Blue"
“….While each track speaks with high energy in a subtle almost serene way, they range from funky pop to almost R&B (in the classic sense) to a reggae feel… the overall scope of the album is cohesive and original.” —J-Sin, smother.net, June 27, 2004
Fresh New Tunes
“….features very strong vocals reminiscent of a personal hero of mine, Bonnie Raitt… The songwriting is clever, the musicianship is good … All in all a good listen.”
—Fresh New Tunes, July 2, 2004
Music Liberation Project
“…there are some very soulful, funky and reflective moments on this album…Meyer goes for a more sultry, seductive voicing… Jessie Rae would be a good opening act for the Portland Blues Festival.”
—bb, Music Liberation Project, v2:i4 June/July 2004
Jason Mashak, Poet
“Excellent rollicking tune….reminds me of a few songs by The Band, when they really fuse Levon Helm’s rhythms with the song construction.”
—Jason Mashak, poet, about the song “Don’t Care”
~ Willy, Ava Roasteria, Beaverton, Oregon
"What a pleasure it was to mix the new Jessie Rae album! Every time I received a new song in my in box, I couldn't wait to hear what they had for me.
Each song getting better and more amazing as the project progressed.
This is a must have record ... The beautiful vocal melodies laid over some serious groovy guitars and rhythms will have your toe tapping the entire way!"
~ Prince Strickland, portland underground recording
“It’s so anti and well — glum…..”
~ my sister Susan
"The best way to describe you is... 'groovy'."
~ Sindee, Portland, Oregon