This disc took time to come to fruition, but it was more than worth the wait. On this twelve song disc Jessi Colter either wrote or co-wrote all but three of the songs, and there she left the chore to such tunesmiths as Bob Dylan, Tony Joe White and Civilla White/ Charles Gabriel. It is a disc that relates to the past and helps with what life has brought as it looks to the brightness of the future for this woman who defies any niche created for her. There is Gospel music, Country, Roots, and perhaps the best non-Dylan rendering of Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 to be heard. Don Was (who also played upright bass) produced the album with a sensitivity that brings forth the best in this most expressive singer. Listen to the hope and despair that is so forthcoming in The Phoenix Rises. Either is capable of overpowering the song, and yet both, though free to fly, are true to the title.
Jessi is known as the wife of Waylon Jennings and during most of the time they were together she was content to remain in the background, yet when they got together she was indeed the bigger name and seller of music. There is a heart-felt moment on the disc when she does trade lead singing with Tony Joe White and her late husband on the poignant Tony Joe White penned, "Out of the Rain." She closes out the disc with her son, Shooter Jennings, which brings the disc back to its cycle of life and death and the hope in the journey they hold forth for all. Faith is as strong in this woman as she has displayed strength in living this life. As a bonus you have here some of the best photographs of both Jessi and her beloved Sonoran Desert. It is a beautiful and strong disc that was worth the long wait.
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