Non Stop Thrill (Blue Cat)
Jan Smith

Paul Moffett

I first heard about this wonderful Atlanta singer named Jan Smith some years ago from a songwriter/lawyer friend who was writing tunes for Smith when she fronted an Atlanta band called Jan Smith and the Eclectic Cowboys. The band was making some noise in Georgia and had released a CD, Rain, in 1994.

Then I heard little from them until Non Stop Thrill was pitched to me by the lawyer. Smith has reorganized her team for yet another shot at bigger success, he said, and her new album is some hot R&B, with Francine Reed helping on one tune.

"Everybody is a great singer," I said, alluding to his lack of objectivity. He said he'd mail me a copy. It made the five-CD cut on the changer and stayed for most of a motnth.

More than a shot, Non Stop Thrill is fusillade. Picking only the best tunes from her team, Smith serves up her strongest R&B material to date and it's a pleasure to listen to.

Women R&B singers most sing lots of laments and Smith doesn't fail the tradition, offering a series of funky been-wronged blues, from the fed-up woman in Some Fool to Did He Mention My Name to the sadder-but of Shoulda Known Better.

Smith handles the requiste smoky love ballads with equal vocal ability, but to show that she is not just any old R&B singer, the album concludes with Harold Arlen's Somewhere Over the Rainbow,. which also defines her goal in the business.

The only question is whether the record guys see the yellow brick road and smell money.