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Moon and the Morning After

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Album Review

Hopefully this is the one that gets people to sit up, take notice, and get on their feet clapping. Jill Jack is one of those canny and original singer/songwriters who has quietly built herself a following in her home state of Michigan, and amassed a recorded catalog of uncommon depth, passion, and vision. Moon and the Morning After contains 12 gritty new tracks that feature a host of Detroit's and Ann Arbor's elite studio hands, from drummer Ron Pangborn and acoustic string wizard David Mosher to Billy Brandt, Roscoe Gordon (who engineered the set as well as played on it), Nolan Mendenhall (who also acted as producer), Bobby Lewis, and Greg C. Brown, to name a few. But it's Jack's songs that lay the ground for the magic to begin. This is a tougher set than has come to be expected from her. She's written a slew of deeply moving and candid ballads for this collection, including the shatteringly beautiful opener "Find My Way Home" and the closer "Fallen," which bookends the album; but in between lie country, R&B, and straight-up rock & roll songs that are tough, literate, and emotionally searing. There's the funky, edgy strut of "Drink the Dust"; the rootsy, modern-day rockabilly paean to Elvis in "Getting' on in Memphis"; the sweet country stroll of "Do I Dare," with a lovely Mosher mandolin backdrop that stands in stark opposition to the clean, razor slash of honesty and confessional passion in the lyric. The unabashedly vulnerable "Fallen" is its folk song counterpart here. Then there's the straight-up lean and rock & roll manifesto to personal and spiritual realization and fearlessness that is "My Own Parade." It's not only inspiring but downright rousing in a Sunday morning church of the street way. There's a sheer, rough-edged poetry on this album that stands on its own — as the revelation of life in the process of being lived through in all its guises, and not as simply a witness to it, but as a bloodied but unbowed participant in the journey. Songs such as "Roamin'," with its loose country stroll is actually a prayer. And it reveals the secret of Moon and the Morning After. The entire album functions that way, albeit in a labyrinthine manner. It digs through the past, accepts its struggles and blessings as a method and promise for whatever comes next. Acceptance and surrender are not easily revealed in popular song. They usually appear in some hidden corner inside reference, or as cliché, or cheap drama. Jack steers clear of all of this. She strips her lyrics and her song structures to the bone, cutting without precision, leaving a clear sign of the scars. She likes the look of truth, because in all honesty, its always comes as a ragamuffin calling incessantly from the dark and murky rivers of the human heart. That she can create a musical tapestry that allows elegance, grace, and rugged self-reliance equal to weight is a gift. That she can carry them all in the grain of her voice as the foundations of hard-won truth is beautiful. And beauty, in all its shadows and shapes is at the center of Moon and the Morning After. This is an exceptionally honest rock & roll record, but it's one that delivers musically as well as lyrically in spades and diamonds. Simply put, Moon and the Morning After is Jack's finest moment yet. And as a side note, to see her perform live is an electrifying and sometimes nearly otherworldly experience.

Customer Reviews

I love Mrs. Jack!!

I have known Jill Jack since i have been in 1st grade, she is probly one of the nicest people i have ever met and her daughter's really nice too. Mrs. Jack (after knowing her and her kid forever it feels odd saying her first name) is an amazing singer, i wish iTunes would put Rosie on here, its my favorite by her. Jack brings great music back to Detroit.

Fellow detroiter giving props to a fellow hometown girl!

Great passionate lyrics over smooth sounds. A definite worthwhile listening experience!

A Detroit Gem

Jill is absolutely incredible... she is a true asset to the Detroit music scene. You can hear the emoition in her songs. I have all 6 of her CD's and can listen to her all day. If I could give 10 stars I would!

Moon and the Morning After, Jill Jack
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Customer Ratings