Though I sincerely wish Clapp would pick up the tempo from time to time throughout her ten song indie release, that desire in no way negates the fact that Lonesome Sunbeam is an easy disc to like and to learn from.
Having shared co-writer credits on songs by Chris Difford of Squeeze and Adam Levy of Norah Jones fame, Jen Clapp knows a thing or two or ten about songwriting and you can hear it here as she explores the space between pop and alt-country on several pristine nuggets of reflection. The title track, for one, lilts Zen-like "…a lonesome sunbeam persisting through the gray". The moody Icy Windows ("When there's nothing but a question / Where a woman used to be") serves as a sort of prologue to the James Taylor-countrified Might Have Moved On where self-realization ("I may have moved on / But the rules are still in place") isn't a resignation, but a triumph of will.
Supportive ensemble playing by all, especially bassists Jason Sarubi and Simon Walsh; drummer Dan Fisherman and guitarist Adam Elk from the seldom heard but heralded Mommyheads provide a quiet, assuring atmosphere while violinist Sara Molonovich (Richard Shindell) and guitarist James Crigler (Linda Thompson, Marshall Crenshaw) add their musical colors behind Clapp's plaintive, ruminative, and always hopeful, vocals.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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