Cloud Ten

by Jenifer Jackson

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about

CLOUD TEN liner notes

The plushly ambiguous cover image
of
Jenifer Jackson's latest and tenth album, aptly titled
Cloud Ten,
speaks volumes. Look closely and you will see a furry cat!
There's a
feline grace, and playfulness, and warmth, and hominess to
the
cutting-edge Americana songcraft and performances on this
charming,
irresistibly unpredictable new collection of songs. As a
bonus, Jenifer
plays not only her usual guitar but also piano, drums and
for the
first time, ukulele.




Curmudgeons beware:
Jenifer's going to
get you smiling like a big Texas sunrise, and asking
yourself in
astonishment, “Did they really just play what I think they
did?”
whether you like it or not. Which isn't what you might
expect from
someone with such an extensive back catalog of thoughtfully
crafted,
often melancholy songs. Her career's taken her from
Beatlesque nuevo
bossa nova, to harrowing folk noir, to classic Brill
Building style
pop, slinky psychedelia,  blue-eyed soul, and now the
Americana
she's been mining for such
rich results
over the last few years. Joining the brain drain out of New
York
City, her move to Austin in 2007 jumpstarted a career that
had
critics swooning but had reached critical mass in the big
city. Cloud
Ten reconfirms how fertile the Texas landscape has been for
one of
the most prolific, irrepressibly fun and unselfconsciously
brilliant
tunesmiths working today.




The innumerable little touches
define
this album. You might expect to hear multi-instrumentalist
Kullen
Fuchs' good-naturedly purist honkytonk guitar in the
vintage C&W
sway of Pen to Paper, but probably not his glimmery Mad Men
era
vibraphone - but you get both! The Texas shuffle groove and Jackson's own
rippling
piano
mingling
with classic Beatles allusions in  Love Me Best; hints of
Laurel
Canyon psychedelia and coy 50s exotica in the bossa-flavored
Coriander; a little later, Jenifer and Kullen duet's
coyly aphoristic
duet on the album's title track makes gently narcotized
uke indie-pop
out of a classic western swing theme. 




Some touches are somewhat more
traditionally oriented to the various styles Jenifer expands
on here,
but no less apt. The elegantly rippling George Harrison
Abbey Road
lead guitar amidst Jackson's vividly summery
fingerpicking in the
Britfolk-tinged River Road; Kullen's deep floodwaters of
accordion
throughout Gravity, a lilting lullaby. of longtime Johnny Cash collaborator Earl Poole Ball
elegant slip-key piano mingles with glockenspiel, enhancing
the gently
crepuscular ambience of Only in Dreams; Jesse Ebaugh's
pedal steel
deep-sky pedal steel on the sharply lyrical Wondering, which
looks
back to Townes Van Zant outlaw balladry. Perhaps the
album's most
striking if shortest track is the wary, austere Birdy's
Lament,
Kullen's melodica taking the song into surrealistic
early 70s
folk-rock terrain. Its most period-perfect is Mother Nature,
a
spot-on evocation of early 60s honkytonk.



Jenifer draws on the
multicultural
fabric of her adopted state with two songs in Spanish: the
tender,
bolero-tinted Sabor a Mi and the gentle Bahia/Veracruz
mashup Como
Fue, Kullen's trumpet sailing overhead. It's as
heartwarming as it is
just plain fun to hear this genuine American treasure
continuing to evolve and keep us entertained: if there's
any album
released this year that makes you reach for the repeat
button, this
is it. Enjoy!

Alan Young/New York Music
Daily
Manhattan, 2016

credits

released February 12, 2016

produced by jenifer and kullen
mixed by brad jones
musicians:
jenifer
kullen
phil spencer
brad jones
patrick sansone
earl poole ball
jesse ebaugh

cd art layout tony rogers. photos of sven and wordk holly kinski .
my headshot photo david fox

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Jenifer Jackson Austin, Texas

For a complete Bio, please visit www.jeniferjackson.com

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Track Name: mother nature
destiny will lose and mother nature will win
Track Name: birdy's lament
lalalalalalalalalaoooooolalalalalalala