Jelly Jar | Currant Jelly

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Blues: Rockin' Blues Blues: Swamp Blues Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Currant Jelly

by Jelly Jar

Sly,jazzy pop to earthy swamp blues,banjo to sax new roots Americana
Genre: Blues: Rockin' Blues
Release Date: 

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1. Bad Times
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3:30 $0.99
2. B Street
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3:10 $0.99
3. Gypsy Melody
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4:21 $0.99
4. Howlin' at the Moon
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5:27 $0.99
5. Lovesick
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3:22 $0.99
6. Emperor with no Clothes
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3:10 $0.99
7. Take it for Granted
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3:47 $0.99
8. Comin' Undone
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5:01 $0.99
9. Maybe Baby
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3:28 $0.99
10. Elizabeth
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3:50 $0.99
11. Outside my Window
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4:09 $0.99
12. Cup of Water
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13. Disaster Song
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Both rough and smooth at the same time, this Jelly Jar is worth opening.
Jelly Jar "Currant Jelly" (Independent 2006)

Austin collective build on reputation with second album.

Jelly Jar hail from Austin, Texas but their roots can be traced back to the 1960’s when the band’s two songwriters met in school in Southern California – the same institution attended by Messrs Beefheart and Zappa. Two decades on, Rick Duszynski and Tom Metcalf met up to form Jelly Jar and their initial effort ‘Preserved’ won an award for producer Rick del Castillo. ‘Currant Jelly’ also benefits from del Castillo’s production that certainly adds a touch of class to the band’s sound that ranges from a laidback swing to bluegrass via country. The band’s main strength is that Metcalf, Duszynski and Karen Peters all take turns in front of the mike and all have vastly different, yet rewarding, voices. Metcalf’s is perhaps the biggest draw, his deep-throated growl reminiscent of a less brooding Mark Lanegan.

Metcalf’s dark blues ‘Bad Times’ kicks off the album with growling vocals, driving banjo and rocking lead before the tempo drops for Duszynski’s relaxed and jazzy ‘B Street.’ The minor-key lament of ‘Gypsy Melody’ – an ode to “life under the Russian czars and death under the Polish stars” - is awkward and doesn’t work. However it’s a small hiccup and by the time the album gets to the stomping ‘Emperor With No Clothes’ and the engaging ‘Comin’ Undone’ the band has hit its stride. The guitar licks are perfectly pitched, whether chugging out spaghetti western riffs or classy Telecaster lead, whilst the regular bursts of saxophone work well. ‘Maybe Baby’ lets all three singers goad each other into a frenzy before the album closes with a of sleepy acoustic number ‘Cup of Water’ sung in Spanish and a live cut of the sauntering ‘Disaster Song.’

Jelly Jar don’t rest on their laurels and should be commended for it. When the album dips, the listener’s attention is grabbed back immediately as the band flit between styles and singers with aplomb. That is usually the sign of an experienced and solid live band and what you’d expect from a group from Austin’s stable. Both rough and smooth at the same time, this Jelly Jar is worth opening.

Date review added: Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Reviewer: Nic Fildes
Reviewers Rating:
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