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Jennifer Daniels CL Recommends

When: Fri., Nov. 29 2013
Price: $10/$12

Seamlessly shifting from spare singer-songwriter folk to rocky alt-country, Jennifer Daniels boasts a thrilling, wide-ranging voice that suggests both a harder-edged Sarah McLachlan and a Celtic-infused Paula Cole. Yet, Daniels most recalls early Joni Mitchell, both in phrasing and in storytelling that takes the unexpected fork in the road. Although Daniels’ vocal chops are impressive, authentic, lived-in narrative always trumps presentation. Daniels allows her creamy Laurel Canyon trill to turn archly enunciated, or to crack at the edges of her soaring soprano, particularly when she addresses thorny issues of faith. She cuts to the bone on songs like “You Slay Me,” where she picks a fight with God. The harrowing, uplifting outcome is a sharp contrast to the faith-based bombast of Bono, or the scrubbed perkiness of Christian artists. Daniels’ open heart ranges from songs of enduring love to ’50s sock-hop whimsy to Jehovah-haunted terror that evokes those original Southern goth kids, Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner. Ten years on from cutting her first live LP at the Evening Muse, she returns to introduce her new record to Charlotte. (Pat Moran)

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