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Jodi Jett “Revelations” Review

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

When talking with friends that are in bands, does it ever bother you that their taste in music lacks any key influence? Not to discount a friend of mine, who is a skilled guitar player, but he swears by post-nü metal bands that typically dominate much of today’s mainstream rock radio’s playlists. Even though it wouldn’t be out of place to imagine that many musicians take little pride in performing truly rooted music, how can one aspire to have a deep, penetrating sound without taking the time to experiment with those that have come before you?

One might then wonder how Jodi Jett plays with such a deep bluesy, 50’s biker-chick allure without, herself, having taken the time to examine her predecessors. After breaking into the scene in her local Kansas City, before moving to New York City, she was ultimately compared to Liz Phair and labeled the female Lou Reed; thing is, at the time, she had never heard of either of them. Hell, until a few years ago, Jett didn’t even know how to play the guitar. So the question is, where did all of this brilliance come from?

The move out of Kansas City brought on some change, and helped Jett share her album with a skilled level of musician; those helping Jett with the album have also done so with Joan Baez, Norah Jones and The Holy Ghost. Possibly this album was a reaction to her surroundings, or those who she has now befriended, but there still seems as though something other causing this inspiration. Her songs ache with purity, “I wanted love, I got you instead;” they come across as a reminiscent of a scenic setting from a far away unfamiliar metropolis. These emotions are clear in tracks such as her “No Place Like Home” which aches “Kansas, you’re on my mind, like a fine red wine…I feel so alone, my mind I disown.”

However, it is “80s Girl” that disarms any sense of a rural sound with its sheik stylish uninterrupted shout-out to 80s themes, figureheads and icons. It enables Jett to shed any former self, before she found her voice, before she found herself being compared to unknown legends, before she found her other half. And with that comes what could possibly serve as this awakening, she is a new person. Perhaps she does take on a bit of Lou Reed, but that comparison shouldn’t go too far. Jett’s release of Revelations takes on a bit of everything, unknowingly consuming every influence she never knew had touched her, and in the process, this cosmopolitan Midwesterner is born.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]