Thanks to Rootstime.be for this review of our new album…
THE GIRL ON THE BIKE (ARE YOU THE GIRL ON THE BIKE?)
Jenny Wren And Her Borrowed Wings
by John Van Leersum
Jenny Wren and her Borrowed Wings are a trio from Suffolk and Essex, England. They have been on the road for a number of years, and The Girl On The Bike (are you the girl on the bike?) is their third album. I’ve called their music “Acoustic Goodtime Music” because it’s an amalgam of influences like the blues, old-time jazz, folk, country and soul, basically all the parts of traditional Roots music.
Jenny Wren is actually called Jenny Trilsbach, she plays the upright bass but more importantly she is the voice of the company, and with that she largely determines the sound, since her voice has a very distinct character, raw and powerful but also sometimes soft and whispering. The most striking feature is its vocal range, somewhat smoky and coming from the diaphragm, a bit similar to the voice of Kris Berry, and here and there, a bit of Eartha Kitt. Another defining element in the sound of the group is the resonator guitar by Ben Fisher who is also vocal, the third able participant is Ben Gallon on acoustic guitar and vocals.
All of the songs are from the different group members. One of the biggest compliments that one can give out to the group is the drive and the tremendous enthusiasm with which they bring their repertoire to the listener. The music breathes the atmosphere of the 30s and 40s, without coming across as archaic. They feel just as at home in a laidback tempo as in a swinging shuffle, so plenty of variety.
The standout track on the album is, for me, the song “Hard Blues”, a Blues that could stem from the 30s sung by Bessie Smith or Ida Cox, however, using atmosphere over volume, more in the style of Maria Muldauer, a compelling piece. Also fine is the song “Get Where It Goes”, a slow sharpener that rubs against the Blues, and in which you can clearly hear they are also instrumental, with the beautiful vibrato of the resonator guitar as the icing on the cake.
John van Leersum