This Raleigh singer/songwriter’s road to country music has been anything but the traditional route. Trained in classical vocal performance — she earned a masters in it from the New England Conservatory of Music — Jolly then did a stint as pop jazz trumpeter Chris Botti’s featured vocalist. But Jolly grew up on the music of Loretta Lynn, the Judds and Tammy Wynette, and has returned to it with her debut, Angels. (Even her LP doesn’t come from where you’d expect; Angels is out on the label +FE, run by the R&B duo of Phonte Coleman and Nicolay Rook, aka, the Foreign Exchange, with whom Jolly sings.) Jolly puts all those influences together to great effect here. One track sounds like Sade accompanied by shuffling beats and pedal steel twang; another like she’s out to embarrass all the pop-country poseurs on CMT. She can even cover that beautiful voice in grit and go all Lone Justice/Maria McKee for a guitar-fueled tearjerker, and there’s even a waltz where that opera training kicks in and knocks your socks off. This is a promising start for a talented singer and songwriter.- John Schacht
Thursday, 4/25-Double Door Inn, 9pm
Jeanne Jolly’s voice was raised by an array of challenges and influences. From singing along to Loretta Lynn records in her youth to earning her masters in vocal performance—opera, to be specific—from the New England Conservatory (NEC), Jolly can cite a list of musical idols in nearly every genre. It’s as if she put her voice on a reality game show from the the time she could sing, urging it to pass every trial. Tests, like mimicking famed vocalists for TV jingles in Los Angeles, pay off in rewards such as becoming the featured vocalist for Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti. What her chords can’t do after such trials and achievements, fans have yet to find out.
The Raleigh, NC native has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, and her first full-length album, “Angels,” debuted on the top 15 for the iTunes singer/songwriter chart. She has opened for acts like Sam Bush, Maura O’Connell and Chuck Mead. Such success is no surprise once giving “Angels” a listen.
Her influences—like Alison Krauss, The Judds, Tammy Wynette—shine through in her folk-style ballads, yet her classical schooling lends hints of jazz and bossa nova to a few tunes as well. Jolly’s tone is exceptionally warm and clear, the gift of many years’ diligence in opera. Not one of the songs on “Angels” should be considered filler. Every lyric is bona fide. Every verse is something she’s felt.
When: Friday, April 19th • 7:30 p.m.
Where: Playhouse 211
4320-100 Southport-Supply Rd., St. James
Cost: $20/advance, $25/at the door
Info: (910) 200-7785
Jeanne Jolly has accumulated a rather cosmopolitan resume; classical voice training at school, touring vocalist for a well-known jazz trumpeter. Her heart lies, however, with country music, and the Raleigh, North Carolina singer-songwriter hones her twangy chops well on her full-length debut, Angels. Jolly’s ten songs do not hew to the conventional country sound, but incorporate her varied sensibilities. Now, this reviewer fancies himself an aficionado of the rough-hewn and acoustic in both his old-timey and contemporary musical preferences, so Angels has proven to be something of an unexpected surprise…
In a time when a one-hit wonder creates instantaneous fame, it’s refreshing when you find an artist that has been secretly developing a treasure trove of very beautiful, honest and satisfying music. Friday, April 5 at the Hawley Silk Mill, Harmony Presents Jeanne Jolly, an old school country singer blending Nashville roots with rock, jazz and even a bit of classical.
The result is a solid, warm and varied performance that will satisfy virtually all who are fortunate enough to listen.
Jeanne’s unmistakable signature voice easily shifts between belting Americana and lilting golden croons.
Classically trained, Jolly really demonstrates her incredible diversity on several of tracks of her new album “Angel” which will be performed at the show.
It takes a special talent to be able to weave a traditional country sound with so many other genres, and Jolly pulls it off without skipping a beat.
Although Jolly’s voice can give you goosebumps, she saves the pyrotechnics for when she really wants to nail a lyric or drive a chorus home. Her songs usually follow a narrative: she’s got an eye for detail and likes to work the suspense for all it’s worth.
via delarue at New York Music Daily
Raleigh, North Carolina country singer Jeanne Jolly’s latest album Angels has a lot of great tunes and great stories. Jolly is conservatory trained, with a jazz background: she had a money gig singing in a well-known pop-jazz band for awhile. In the last couple of years, she’s honed her chops on her home turf, embracing the country styles she grew up with there. Much as the album blends oldschool country with rock, it’s a million miles from New Nashville. Although Jolly’s voice can give you goosebumps, she saves the pyrotechnics for when she really wants to nail a lyric or drive a chorus home. Her songs usually follow a narrative: she’s got an eye for detail, likes to work the suspense for all it’s worth, and her band is sensational. She’s at the big room at the Rockwood on March 1 at 7 PM with eight-string guitarist Chris Boerner and drummer/keyboardist Nick Baglio…
via Jason Gartshore at Americana Review
In an age where stardom can be instantaneous, it’s always nice when you are made aware of an artist that has been quietly developing their craft in to something really special. North Carolina native Jeanne Jolly has taken a long and varied road prior to the release of her debut full-length album, “Angels”, having resided in Boston, Los Angeles and of course, North Carolina. The result is a solid, warm and varied album that will satisfy virtually all who are fortunate enough to listen.
There is a little bit of jazz, a little bit of roots rock, and a whole lot of straight ahead country music. The opening track, “Angels of Hayward Street”, seemingly sets an early, dark tone for the album, but Jolly then takes us over to a beautiful love song with the second track “Sweet Love.” A class of lost souls has their story told on “Happy Days Cafe.” One of the best aspects of this album is that it’s tough to categorize, which makes it a perfect Americana record.
Trained in opera, Jolly really demonstrates her incredible diversity on several of the tracks on this album, but none more so than on “Tear Soup”, a story song about trying to get past total and complete heartbreak … to varying degrees of non-success. It takes a special talent to be able to weave in a classic country sound with opera, and Jolly pulls it off in spades. In fact, I would suspect this task has never been attempted before now…
Jeanne Jolly loves old-time over-the-top country heartbreakers; the bigger the break, the better. So when it came time for her to write a tribute to honky-tonk humdingers like “Stand by Your Man,” she naturally poured on the pity. She made “Tear Soup” a spicy stew of he-done-me-wrong retaliations (reversing his pictures on the wall, trashing his records), a deliciously crooked waltz where a quick yodel of grief slides into an instant aria of anguish.
“Tear Soup” is a packed track on “Angels” (+FE Music), the first CD from Jolly, who grew up in Raleigh, N.C., on the magnetic melodrama of Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn. The record showcases her vibrant, versatile, operatically trained voice, her playfulness, her fondness for edgy textures. She’ll display these dynamic qualities on Feb. 23 at the Mauch Chunk Opera House when she performs ..