Last weekend, I was fortunate to catch a few songs from this week’s Hidden Gem at Pianos on the Lower East Side. I had just finished up a set with my band. I had to run and play two songs with a Sam Cooke impersonator in a downtown variety show, so I had to run pretty quickly. But I left with Laney Jones‘ focused, smokey (smokused?), intelligent voice singing me out the door.
Upon a little bit of research, I’ve discovered a songwriter and singer from Mount Dora, FL who writes using various styles orbiting around a Southeastern barroom-waltzer’s version of Americana. She’s a great banjo and harmonica player who also has been gifted with an expressive and delicious voice.
Jones’ most recent full release, Golden Road, begins with a lonely clawhammer banjo and contains folk/pop singalongs, the aforementioned barroom waltzes (see Pour Out The Whiskey above), a little bit of country-blues harmonica, 60’s country road tunes, and confident instrumentals from Jones herself and a great cadre of musicians. Here’s the clawhammer-cum-campfire opener, Broken Hearts:
The most fun part of music, for some, is breaking boundaries, playing with genre, and having fun being yourself in a slightly different setting. This is perfectly exemplified in Laney’s newest single, Work It Out:
It’s become one of my must-listen. It’s got a lightness that would place it perfectly next to a radio hitmaker like Ed Sheeran, but it’s got a depth of musicianship in the arrangement that makes me dance the way Kimbra did in 2013 and Top 40 radio would never be brave enough for. Yet.
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