It’s been a long time coming, but Jenn Cleary has finally graced the music world with another CD, and it’s joyful, soulful and real. “Blues Full of Heart” is, to be sure, a collection of covers, but by drawing on some of the best songwriters of all time — including Porter Grainger, Everett Robbins, Warren Haynes, Stephen Stills and Janis Joplin — Cleary has widened the field with a fresh, new take on some masterful music and made it her own. If you’ve never heard of Jenn Cleary, then it’s about time you find out (she’s performed just about everywhere and played with or opened for just about everyone). If you “go back a ways” in the area, then you already know just how good she is.
Starting with Jimmy Messina’s “Peace of Mind”, Cleary’s voice is pitch- perfect, and her elegant guitar work is always spot-on. The Stephen Stills classic call to action “For What it’s Worth” is reborn and revitalized, while the 1922 standard “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” is evocative of Billie Holliday at her finest. Cleary shines on Haynes’ “Soulshine”.
She is backed by producer John McVey on lap steel, electric guitar and more; Christian Teele on drums, Eric Moon on keys and Mad Dog Friedman on harp.
The entire collection is as listenable and enjoyable as it gets. John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” delivers right to the heart and soul, while Cleary’s rendition of “What a Wonderful World” is almost otherworldly goodness. “Blues Full of Heart is a terrific CD that belongs near every music lover’s player. Sometimes a fresh new heart and soul makes even the old sound new and relevant. Check out Blues Full of Heart from local legend Jenn Cleary and while you’re there, check out her older music as well. Blues Full of Heart is good stuff, straight from Jenn Cleary, whose heartfelt blues sound awfully good. – Wolf
“… Cleary has widened the field with a fresh, new take on some masterful music and made it her own. If you’ve never heard of Jenn Cleary, then it’s about time you find out …”