I first came across Emma Jane, back in the mid-noughties, a friend of mine had heard a demo of a song, "Carter Cash" through Myspace and recommended that I should give it a listen, which I did and was blown away by both the narrative and the brassy Glaswegian attitude layered over her country sound.
Back then Emma Jane was fully Glasgow based, but in the subsequent years, she has rotated towards London occasionally heading back to Glasgow and her other spiritual home Nashville. It has to be said that her recording output has not been prolific, but what she lacks in quantity, she really makes up for in quality. Her 2012 album "Penilee Songs" not only won Fatea Album of the year, it was also named unsigned album of the year.
That was followed in 2014 by "Workhorse" and now her latest release, "Lucky Ten", which once more sees her tackling the issues of life from strange angles in a country/country rock style that should see her name up there with the best of them. You are immediately hit by the growling "Lost Religion" where Emma Jane proclaims that the preacher said that he had found god, but lost religion. That is immediately followed by the slower and more soulful "Unforgiven" that shows she's not going to be tied musically, the songs are going to get what they need.
What follows is an album that really does run across the range of emotions and by doing so becomes a life affirming album that you'll want to hear time and time again. Sometimes all you want to hear is about a beautiful day, life is full of simple pleasures as well as cheap knocks and "Lucky Ten" reflects both sides of the coin, heck it even lands on the edge occasionally to expose both aspects in the same song.
Emma Jane is one of those truly reflective artists who may not say as much as you would like her to, but when she does you listen and that she can set all that to music, in a predominantly country style speaks volumes for her, not just as a writer, but as a performer, "Lucky Ten", there's no luck about it, these are ten tracks driven by real talent. Fingers crossed that it gets her to where she really should be.
|Jeanes: Sleeping Leaves||Tracy Nelson and Mother Earth: Poor Man's Paradise|
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