The duo JOANNA~JAMES is a collaborative project by solo artists JoAnna Lewis-Oldfield and James Moore who are both Kentucky natives They describe their release Bluegrass & Roses as an Americana folk album with a hint of that Appalachian bluegrass feel. I find a lot of bands don’t do a very good job explaining their sound but not this band. That sentence really sums up their sound very well.
I have to admit whenever I hear someone say they don’t like dogs a little part of me thinks “how can that be.” How can some part of you not love a big floppy golden retriever waiting for belly rubs? The same kind of question comes to mind with Bluegrass & Roses. It’s the type of music that is so warm and inviting to your ears (the production is amazing) that I couldn’t imagine someone piping up while this is playing saying ”can we listen to something else.”
The album contains thirteen songs all of which are around three minutes. It starts with the title track “Bluegrass & Roses” which is a tribute to Kentucky and more generally nature and the feeling of being home. It’s a tender song with tons of pure emotion to appreciate. Kentucky pride and appreciation is the major theme that runs throughout the album.
The duo is just getting starting. The banjo led “Hey, Kentucky,” jazzy “Redbird Ramble” and sweet “Down at The Gorge” show different sides to their talent while establishing a foundation. The momentum gets joyous and festive with “Louisville Belle,” a traditional song called “My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight” and “Tulip Poplar.”
“East Kentucky Side” felt a little darker at points but also felt a little more poppy. “Blue as Kentucky” is a softer, melancholy song while “Let’s Taste The Burgoo” felt more bittersweet. “West Kentucky Water Lands” is another winner. “Where The Grass Is Blue” kind of had me cracking up. The song is more or less saying “hey places like California, Michigan and New York sure have a lot to offer but I’m just saying Kentucky has all that beat.” There is also a bonus song called “Kentucky Proud” which by this time every listener was well aware of.
Bluegrass & Roses is a well delivered and well written album by two very talented musicians. I feel it’s a good album to play on a Sunday morning and if you happen to live in Kentucky you might play this every morning.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook