I can’t help but remember back to the late ‘60s and early ‘70s when artists like Judy Collins, Laura Nyro, Carol King and especially Joni Mitchell brought a whole different look and set of songs to rock and pop music. Until that point in the ‘60s female artists were of the Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane) and Janis Joplin mode. They were about talent but they were also in your face. They were flash. Then came the singer-songwriters. They let their talent, and the song speak for them. They didn’t dress provocatively, they didn’t jump around the stage or molest the mic. Instead they sang a song from the heart and captured audiences through their art.
When it was suggested I give Paige Shannon’s 13 - EP a listen, and when I finally did, those marvelous singer/songwriters immediately came to mind. A time when substance won out over image. When songs were delivered with emotion. With heart and with soul. With an honesty that transcended mini skirts and whatever passes for glamour at the moment.
It was also a music that ignored fads and that’s what impressed me about Paige Shannon who, by the way, lists Joni Mitchell among her favorite musicians, she’s young but her appeal has nothing to do with fads. She also lists among her interests Martin Guitars, Urban Outfitters, good poetry, and cats.
The EP is Paige’s first professional recording and it opens with an original; “Memory Is The Enemy”. Right away you hear the range in her voice. Musically and emotionally. She harnesses both to deliver a signature tune whose poetic verses speak to her depth and future as a songwriter. The other songs on the EP are penned by Paige as well. She also plays twelve and six string guitar, a little uke and in one or two places the banjo. Besides that expressive voice, she has a future as a musician. The album is all that is lovable about the singer-songwriter era, but it is also thoroughly modern. On YouTube you can find her doing covers of Nina Nesbitt's "Noserings and Shoestrings", so besides that Joni Mitchell influence, she also has more modern muses hiding in her MP3 player.
For a refreshing little bit of ear candy that has nothing to do with the MTV glamour shots and a whole lot to do with a talented songstress delivering honest and appealing music, pick this one up. And you’ll want to bookmark her web site and watch the news papers around L.A. where she lives and has already performed at Hard Rock and other venues to enthusiastic crowds.
The Dirty Lowdown
Copyright © 2013 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved "First published on Blogcritics."