Jenny Goodspeed,
Under the Ash Tree
(Shearwater, 2008)

Jenny Goodspeed has an interesting history. According to her biography, she started as a singer/songwriter in Colorado in the 1990s, then moved to Massachusetts and into theater, where she spent a decade. While participating in a music festival, she was approached by a house concert producer about recording a CD, and thus was born Under the Ash Tree.

Other than Joni Mitchell's "The Arrangement," all the songs on this CD were written by Goodspeed. She also sings, of course, and plays acoustic guitar. Various guest musicians join her at different times providing such instruments as electric guitar, harmonica, piano, mandolin, cello and others. She is joined on "The Good Daughter" by singer/songwriter Beth Amsell singing harmony. (She has toured as Amsell's opening act.)

The sound is acoustic folk-pop, the lyrics mostly revolving around relationships. Stand-out tracks include the aforementioned "The Good Daughter" with its strong beat and gorgeous harmony, the melodic "Mainesong" and the cheery, upbeat "S-Curve Roads."

Under the Ash Tree is a lovely debut, and good things are sure to follow.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Laurie Thayer

27 September 2008

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