Zzaj Productions’ Review of “Billie & Dolly”

Jacqui Sutton – BILLIE & DOLLY: Jacqui’s vocals are among the best I’ve listened to (yet) in 2011. She opens the CD with a wonderfully laid- back rendition of “God Bless The Child“… “pleasant” is the keyword, to be sure. The banjo integrations on “Black Hole” will suck your ears right into the groovy vortex she creates with her vocals… recording is excellent quality through & through! You’ll definitely think you’re down in Cajun- town as you listen to the swamp groovin’ on “Those Memories of You“. There’s a heavy swing feel, & definite sweet jazz snatches competing for your aural attention, but it can’t be “classified” in any way shape or form. It’s for that reason (as well as some fantastic arrangements from Henry Darragh) that I give Jacqui’s debut CD my MOST HIGHLY

RECOMMENDED rating. “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.96, & when you add in the “FQ” (that’s “fun quotient), this one can’t be beat! Get more information at https://jacquisutton.com/

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“Billie & Dolly” Makes Susan Frances of HybridMagazine.com’s Top 10 Favorite Records of 2010

Susan Frances

1. Midas Fall – Eleven, Return And Revert Based in Edinburgh, this modern rock outfit has a strong prog rock flare with melodic rock shavings

2. Andrei Lanes Verity Based in New York City, Lanes welds ambient tones into cerebrally entrancing panoramas continually shifting shapes and velocity.

3. Shelly Bhushan Make Believe Based in New York City, Bhushan proves she is a versatile singer-songwriter able to adapt to any melodically toned music.

4. Claude Marc Bourget Musiques de Ballet Based in Montreal, Canada, Bourget takes classical piano to new peaks driven by

5. Animal Sound The Unknown Based in Arkansas, Animal Sound is the one-man band of singer-songwriter-guitarist Jonivan Jones who blends vestiges of country, folk, and psychedelic rock into meaningful melodies.

6. Robert Branch Courage To Be Based in Minneapolis, guitarist Robert Branch bares his chops on these tracks embracing jazz contoured by traits of rock and avant pop.

7. Jacqui SuttonBillie & Dolly Born in Orlando, singer-songwriter immerses herself into these standards which revamp fan favorites made popular by two classic artists, Holiday and Parton.

8. Lullwater Forest For The Trees Based in Georgia, punk rockers Lullwater create an exciting mixture of soaring guitar shreds and beefy tremors.

9. Daniel Lucca Pressing Forward Based in the Bay Area of California, piccolo bassist Daniel Lucca bridges smooth jazz rhythms with Latin accents and bucolic riffage.

10. The Forecast The Forecast Based in Peoria, the power rock quartet of The Forecast solidify their place as modern punk motivators.

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Jacqui Sutton is Reviewed by Cashbox Magazine

Every once in a while, a star emerges that makes them hard to categorize. After hearing Jacqui Sutton’s “Billie & Dolly,” I’ll not only call her a soul singer, I’ll also call her one of the best. Blending the uniquely spectacular legends that are Billie Holiday and Dolly Parton, Sutton introduces to her longtime fans some of the songs that helped fuse her own brand of music. She handles both icons with poise and brilliance, and the results are possibly the best bet for holiday music I’ve heard yet. The album’s pinnacle is Sutton’s take on Holiday’s “God Bless The Child.” She shares her gifts with her audience while modernizing the musical gem. Rarely, if ever, will you hear a better cover song, regardless of genre. In the end, we all need to feel good sometimes. Great music can not only ease the mind, but help us all relax when we get a chance. Give the gift of “Billie & Dolly” to that special someone who can’t remember when they last kicked their boots off.

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Midwest Record Entertainment’s Chris Spector Reviews Billie & Dolly

And now for something completely different. Sutton is a jazz vocalist that really likes to genre bend, comparing herself as a vocalist to what Bela Fleck does as an instrumentalist. While this might look like a tribute to Billie Holliday and Dolly Parton, there’s actually only two songs really identified with those two disparate vocalists and the rest are chestnuts that fall somewhere in the middle. Genre bending, with an ear toward Hot Club, Jethro Burns and Joe Venuti, this is cocktail music for the 21st Century where today’s kids finding themselves getting tired of being hipsters want some sophistication and don’t know how to get it or find it. Just when you think we don’t need another interpretation of “God Bless the Child”, Sutton kicks off this set with it and removes the tortured artist effect turning it into a roller coaster of a show stopper—and that’s how things get started. Sutton is an innovator and knows how to put her ear to good use. A sweet set that takes something familiar and makes it new and different without falling too far from the original tree. Check it out.

Volume 34/Number 8 November 8, 2010 MIDWEST RECORD 830 W. Route 22 #144 Lake Zurich, IL., 60047 CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher Copyright 2010 Midwest Record

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