Jeff Black
Album: B-Sides And Confessions Volume 2
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 12

Nashville singer-songwriter Jeff Black follows on from his previous volume of B-sides and Confessions, with Volume 2. I generally like to think of B-sides as the songs which never made a CD but should have, and this collection is no exception to that view.

Whether singing in the first person, or from the viewpoint of the lead protagonist of each song, Black creates emotional stories, which create a moving journey through the songs. Throughout the CD, Black is joined by no less than fellow singer-songwriters Gretchen Peters and Matraca Berg, alongside such instrumentalists as Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas; that they would put their collective names to such an offering is indicative, surely, of the quality of both the artist and the project.

Jeff Black is clearly a great observer of people and experiences; both his own and those of others. All Right Now shares his own journey, whilst Miss Me is a musical apology. Alice Carry, one of the standout tracks for me, is told from the perspective of a widow, who speaks of the happiness she feels at what she had, rather than regret at what she has lost. Good Old Days speaks of looking back and remembering the days that have passed us by.

All in all, this is an exquisite collection, on the strength of which I will be looking up Jeff Black's earlier offerings. If these are the B-sides, I wonder what the songs which did make the cut have to offer…?

Helen Mitchell