At once joyous and sultry, Camille Jackson's debut album oozes raw talent. This Portland based singer-songwriter has pulled out all the stops to create a mature and catchy collection of songs. Inspired by the best in blues and bluegrass, Jackson crafts songs that pay homage to tradition but still retain their own voice.
Released in December 2006, Star-Eyed Siren features Portland, Oregon musical legends Tony Furtado on slide guitar, Peter Schwimmer (formerly of the great bluegrass group, Sam Hill) on banjo, bass, mandolin, and lead guitar, Dr. Theopolis front man Ezra Holbrook on drums, and the great Diana Ross pianist, George Mitchell. Also featuring the country licks of Paul Hirschmann on pedal steel guitar and dobro, the beautiful violin and viola work of Eddie Parente, and the tasteful blues sounds of Spigot harmonica player, David Lipkind, Jackson has assembled a stellar group of players to round out this refreshingly colorful mix of tunes.
Part folk, part bluegrass, a little bit of country and a whole lot of soul, this album crosses from one genre to another with little chance of being pigeonholed into one style. At the same time, the album’s surprises are delivered seamlessly from one song to another, all while managing to grab your attention again and again throughout this emotive work. While “Drinking For Two” and “Jesus’ Sons” feel like a drunken bull ride in a honkey-tonk, the more serene “Like Mercury” and “This Town” soothe like a steamy cup of coffee the morning after. And where the haunting anti-war lyrics in “Not of This World” and “Love and War” leave you hypnotized and breathless, you’ll find yourself singing out loud to every song despite yourself, start to finish.
Sung in a chorus of angelic harmonies, these songs will call you like a siren, make you want to quit your job, hit the road, and find that one love that got away. And if it fails, this soundtrack for a broken heart will see you through all the way home.