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Doug Boynton of “Girl Singers” Reviews Jacqui Sutton’s “Billie & Dolly”

Jacqui Sutton calls it “Frontier Jazz,” a melding of two musical styles, blues and bluegrass. It’s a jumble of logical instruments for the musical style – near as I can tell, it means a cello instead of a fiddle for bluegrass, an accordion instead of a harmonica for blues. Like that. Lush orchestration leads into a banjo for “God Bless The Child,” banjo into a jazz trumpet on the bluegrass “Those Memories Of You,” made memorable, but not exactly famous on the Dolly-Linda-Emmylou “Trio” bluegrass album 20 years ago. The banjo is one of the constants through this disc – and Ms. Sutton glides seamlessly from blues to bluegrass in her own singing – she calls it “vocal honesty,” this ability to meld the different musical styles in her own performance. I’d call the ability to do that quite a talent. Ms. Sutton has put some serious thought into the interpretation of these lyrics. She speaks in the liner notes about her own musical journey, including “Turning 50 and starting a garage band.” Whatever the journey, Ms. Sutton – it was worth it. Good stuff. Expect unexpected things with this one. Extra points for the great work on the album art. This one’s got nice “curb appeal.” Houston is fortunate to have Ms. Sutton among its community of artists, and I’ll be watching for what’s next. Very highly recommended.

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