This is the first full length CD by Masse who was/is a bass playing vocalist with The Wailing Jennys, a folk group that that has had great success and made a good name for themselves. She composed all of the 13 songs on the disc, one, Bird Song, was co-written with one of her Wailing Jennys cohorts Nicky Mehta. On Bird Song we are treated to some lush vocals and some very well played acoustic jazz, pop, or folk (sometimes in various combinations) songs that raise the bar for other singers that wish to enter this arena. This is not an album of passive songs that easily fall into the background; it is front and center and carries the listener along on its journey. There is an energy here that cannot be denied and generally is not seen in someone this young in an acoustic band. The band is extremely versatile and shifts and swings with her every adventure, and should be commended; Karl Doty on bass, Jed Wilson keyboards, Lyle Brewer on guitars and Jed Arnow drums—augmented with the wonderful Aoife O'Donovan of Crooked Still and Sometymes Why adding vocal harmonies to the disc.
Ms Masse uses the songs to take the listener on a series of journeys into the world of her songs. They range from an almost salacious/bawdy blues number, Bathtub, to the world of country with an edge, High Heeled Woman, to the almost melancholy jazzy title track, Bird Song. This woman can sing whatever she wants and people will listen. Frankly this reviewer never really listened to much Wailing Jennys because they didn't appeal and seemed a bland group, but this disc turns it all around for this singer/songwriter. She is good and her voice is versatile without giving up its conviction and honesty. A great and pleasant surprise that is welcome in this time, truly a collection of beautiful heartfelt songs.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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