The votes are all in and its a Winner - tieing in first place for the Independent Music Awards.
Made in Brooklyn,NY the album was chosen over thousands of entries world wide. The winner was determined by folks like you - so we want to say a huge international Thank you to CD Baby lovers!
Rave reviews : Britain, Canada, Europe and America.
Sing Out!, Winter 2008.
" Jan Bell and the cheap dates completely won me over. Her melodies are rich and meaty....Songs for Love Drunk Sinners is an album of deceptively layered depth, really fine songs, creative arrangements and crisp playing. Hard to ask for anymore than that."
4 Stars NXNE NOW Toronto Music Issue June 2007.
" When the Be Good Tanyas first got together the sound they were aiming for was probably alot like the creaky folk blues you hear coming out of Brooklyn's Jan Bell and the Cheap Dates. So its hardly a shock to find out that their chiller thriller of an album was produced by the Tanyas' Samantha Parton. Wonderful! Jan Bell and company are the real deal."
Tim Perlich, Critics Pick for NXNE, NOW Toronto.
"A mighty fine album. Don 't expect any histrionics or over the top drama. Simple, well sung songs - the way it should be. This album features slide guitars, harmonicas, mandolins, glockenspiel, accordion, violin and banjo - all used to good effect I might add! Jan doesn't feel the need to over produce, and sometimes its what's not being said that makes all the difference."
Phil Edwards, Americana UK.
Jan Bell's show was amazing. Sweetly haunting country melodies, and an ace banjo player to boot!(Hilary Hawke) Catch her if you can! ALT.COUNTRY CANADA
"Jan has a knack for dark melodies, as demonstrated on her 9-11 single from a few years back, and her work with The Maybelles...a doomy prettiness....I wish somebody would explain why I'm liking this new album so much - you'd think I'd hate such stuff. i guess its the melodies..which are largely beautiful, as is Jan's low key singing!
Chuck Eddy (Senior Editor Billboard. formerly senior editor Village Voice)
"Beautifully modulated, exquisitely arranged"
3rd Coast Music (Austin, TX)
Producer Samantha Parton (Be Good Tanyas)
Engineer Joshua Coleman
Mastered by Richard Morris at Sterling Sound, NY.
Following a British Tour highlighted by a concert at The Royal Albert Hall, Samantha Parton took time out to produce 'Songs for Love Drunk Sinners', the new album from Jan Bell. The two women first met in '90's New Orleans, when they played together as The Illegitimate Daughters of Johnny Cash.
The album features an array of emerging and established artists from the Americana, folk and alternative country community. The Brooklyn based core being Violinist Rima Fand (Luminescent Orchestrii); and Pedal Steel player Bob Hoffnar (HEM). Special guest vocals from ANTI Recording artist Jolie Holland, Aimee Curl (ThaMusement), Sam Miller (Redbeard) and Texas tornado Laura Freeman.
Songs for Love Drunk Sinners is a shift in style from old-timey country blues - to a full and richly layered,
dream-scape sound. Previous albums, and her work with The Maybelles is more clearly rooted in traditional folk.
Miners adapts the words of War Poet Wilfred Owen with guest vocals from Elyas Khan (Nervous Cabaret); and there is a cover of Snake Song by Townes Van Zandt.
Album art features the paintings of Pasqualina Azzarello, as featured in the New York Times (Summer '06) for her construction wall murals in d.u.m.b.o., Brooklyn.
“ Jan's stage was my personal favorite at the dumbo arts festival.' Alison Tocci (Publisher) Time Out NY.
“Maybe growing up in Nottinghamshire is what sets Jan bell apart from the run of local lady folkies – or perhaps its the slide guitar, banjo and mandolin that suggest a Renaissance Faire on the Mississippi Delta. Her album 'Between the Bridges' isn't even as gorgeous an ode to New York as 'I want no country' - as sad, plain-spoken and skeptical as any song anybody wrote about 9-11.”
Chuck Eddy as Senior Editor, The Voice.
“She is a truth teller, a true troubadour, heart breaker and heart mender.”
Samantha Parton (Be Good Tanyas, Nettwerk)
Americana UK - Album Review June 2007. By Phil Edwards.
Laid back songs about love, death and life.
Jan Bell was born in Nottinghamshire and now resides in Brooklyn, NY. She lists New York City, New Orleans, Yorkshire, The Brooklyn Bridge, The Rocky Mountains, the Memphis Minnie, the Mississippi River, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Dylan Thomas, The Waterboys, Billy Bragg and Enid Blyton as her influences. She also likes campfires and old porches, and being off the beaten track in the morning'. I wouldn’t have thought there were many tracks to wander down in Nottinghamshire each morning, so maybe that’s why she’s ended up in New York State.
When I first saw this album in my letterbox I thought it was someone called ‘’Jam Bell’’, which I thought was an interesting name, and I was expecting a mans voice to start singing. But I’m pleased I’d misread it, as Jan’s voice is sweet, soulful, sparse and at times ‘old-timey’. Which is pertinent as she also tours with old-timey country Trio The Maybelles.
‘Songs for Love Drunk Sinners’ is produced by Samantha Parton of the Be Good Tanyas and is a mighty fine album. But don’t expect to get it the first or second time round. This album didn’t really grab my attention until track seven, the third time I played it. ‘Miners’ is a Wilfred Owens poem set to music. Owen was a prolific poet who was killed in the Somme, one week before the Armistice was signed in 1918, He was 25. What caught my attention was the use of Elyas Khan on backing vocals which gives this song a native American feel. Which is intriguing, as Khan is a British born south Asian who also resides in New York City.
So what sets Jan Bell apart from the run of other lady folkies? And there many of them. Maybe it’s the fact that she’s not afraid to show her vulnerabilities and let the songs speak for themselves. She doesn’t feel the need to over produce and sometimes it’s what’s not being said that makes all the difference.
This album features slide guitars, harmonicas, mandolins, glockenspiel, accordian and banjos, along with upright bass, recorder, violin and pedal steel – they’re all here. All used to good effect I might add. Stand out tracks include the opener ‘January Morning’ a slow melancholic ballad, the more up-tempo ‘Leaving Town’, ‘Snowbird’, ‘Carpenter’s Arms’ - about a one off encounter with a “travelling man” - which includes the wonderful opening lines “I knew what I wanted when I took down my hair, I wanted you right then and there, played it cool like I didn’t care”, The cd also includes a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Snake Song’, and of course the aforementioned ‘Miners’.
Winner of many awards – too numerous to mention here – Bell has opened for Emmylou, Ray Charles and has been on the same bill with many acts including The Be Good Tanyas. In addition she’s also played Manhattan Women's prison Christmas party with her band, one cold December day, when “everyone wound up dancing”.
Don’t expect any histrionics or over the top drama. This cd contains simple well sung songs. Just the way it should be. Phil Edwards, June 2007. Americana UK.
Jan Bell and Jolie Holland Live at Union Pool, Brooklyn NY
April 17, 2008
"Pity the act who has to follow Jan Bell. Put aside any preconceptions you may have of sad-eyed ladies of the luxury highrises singing in an affected faux-Southern drawl at places like the Living Room: Bell is not one of them. She’s a true original, someone who seems to be right on the brink of something big. She reminded tonight how she got there, with uncommonly good original songwriting, smart guitar playing, a confidently swaying stage presence and a voice like hard cider, rustic and bittersweet but packing a knockout punch. Not bad for a “Yorkshire lass,” as the British expat bills herself. Imagine Kasey Chambers if she’d spent her teenage years hanging out after hours in bars with Loretta Lynn and her 1960s band instead of hunting kangaroos in the Australian outback with her dad, and you get a picture of what Bell is about. She got the chatty crowd to shut up, more or less, for the better part of forty minutes (a less impressive feat than it may seem, since a considerable portion of the sold-out house had come out for her and left after she finished). Accompanied only by Luminescent Orchestrii violinist Rina Fand (who proved as brilliant at vocal harmonies as she is at gypsy music), Bell ran through several numbers from her latest cd Songs for Love Drunk Sinners (which is an IMA finalist for best alt-country album of the year). The high point of the set was her big audience hit Leaving Town, a haunting, fast Texas shuffle that wouldn’t be out of place on a Patricia Vonne album. “They’re watching over you,” she cautioned at the end, all the more reason to leave. Although Bell’s strongest suit is dark minor keys, she also held up her end on a small handful of slow, melancholy waltz numbers. Fand’s violin work was amazing: from start to finish, she stuck with blues, eschewing any traditional country fiddle licks. Although she often went for the jugular, she didn’t waste a note all night. They closed with a fetching, evocative love song for New York." - Lucid Culture NYC - April 2008
Songs for Love Drunk Sinners is an Independent Release on Little Red Hen Music.