Written by James Killen
What do you get when you pull a country music singing lady up from Motown? Jill Jack, that’s what you get. Jill has opened for a number of great touring acts over the years, like Bob Seger, Dan Fogelberg, Kim Richey, Will Kimbrough and Loretta Lynn. She has a strong classic country western voice and writes quite a few of her own songs. She calls on the accordion playing talents of Mark Iannace for this production giving it a distinctive Cajun flavor.
The disc opens up with the rousing country gospel styled, “Where Were You”, featuring a nice lead by guitarist, Brian Chester White. Jill gives encouragement to the lovelorn with “Amelia” in a country rock style featuring a fine B3 organ support. All of the lyrics point to an East Texas lady’s unjust treatment on “Red Dirt Girl” complete with promises not kept.
Jill lets loose with a seriously Cajun version of Randy Weeks’ “Can’t Let Go” that really rocks piano and accordion solos. Jill questions her lifestyle as a musician on the Dylan-esc blues/folk/Cajun anthem, “Road Take Me Away” featuring a very nice guitar solo. “This Town” is a country pop tune that deals with breaking away from the ties of a small home town.
“Crazy Is As Crazy Does”, a Jill Jack composition, mixes that soulful Motown sound with the country western sound better than any other cut on this disc. “You and Me Against the World” is the most classic country song on the disc, with a fine Telecaster solo. Jill closes the disc out with an introspective acoustic and slightly bittersweet version of Jackson Brown’s “These Days”, about risking one’s feelings in relationships.
Jill presents a wonderful combination of her own writings and a few covers from her unique perspective. Her CW vocals are true to tradition and she has surrounded herself with talented musicians for “These Days”. It is well worth a careful listen and I’m looking forward to a live performance in the Houston area.