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Tin Lily

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Album Review

Jeff Black has won a solid rep for writing impressionistic songs that are smart without forgetting the emotional undercurrent, and Tin Lily should deepen that feeling. The slow-rolling "Easy On Me" works like an updated, less sexist version of Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe."Black's narrator doesn't want commitment any more than Dylan's, he just has a nicer way of putting it. "Hollow of Your Hand" is more prosaic, evoking the open road and the American landscape without getting too specific. Is he living in the shadow of a lover's hand? Or perhaps someone — a singer or a writer — who's come before him? In the end, the identity matters less than the impression of "farmlands of southern Illinois" opening up to reveal all of their natural glory. Black wraps his vocals around the lyrics of these and other songs, bringing a warm resonance that shows he's lived with them. The subtle arrangements of piano, guitar, and organ create a layered underpinning that adds another dimension to a song like "Nineteen" without overpowering it, while the rocking guitar brings a carefree abandon to "Libertine." These shifts in tone also give Tin Lily more variety than 2003's B-Sides and Confessions, Vol. 1, and ultimately make it a more satisfying recording. Black, it seems, has found his comfort zone. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Singer/Songwriter that you need to hear!

You can’t go wrong with a Jeff Black album and this is one of his best. Musically, the songs range from the stately, piano driven “How Long” to rockers like “Libertine” and “These Days”. Emotionally, they deal with the challenges of aging while mourning the loss of a young loved one (“Nineteen”) to the elation of escaping the confines of a dead end town (the superb “Free At Last”) or the redemption of finding happiness after tough times (“Better Way”). Throughout, the writing is top notch: this man can say more in a couplet than most writers manage in a whole song. Although there are some sad songs, there is an overall optimism throughout. With strumming guitar and accompanying violin, he sings “For all we know, this could be Heaven now” on “Heaven Now”. He’s expecting better days on “Hollow of You Hand” saying “I am wealthy by the measure of where I’ll be in time”. The value of every day is celebrated in “All Days Shine”. For me, the strongest song is “Free At Last”. It’s made for opening the car windows, turning up the volume, and singing along with the celebratory chorus borrowed from MLK. This whole album is highly recommended: smooth vocals, strong musicianship and superlative songwriting from start to finish.


Born: Missouri

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Missouri native Jeff Black knew he wanted a career in music even before he hit his teens. When he was only ten years old, he persuaded his parents to buy him a guitar. In between school, and then later work, Black learned to play that guitar, to write songs, and to sing. Before he started his professional career in the music business, he worked at a gas station, a car wash, a warehouse, and even in a club as a bouncer. In his early twenties, Black began performing at Blayney's, the blues club where...
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Tin Lily, Jeff Black
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