Painting with Guitar Strings

In The Pool (White Boxer)

Jenn Adams

By David Lilly

How many ten-year-old girls have you known to fall in love with Miles Davis and Wes Montgomery? How many are exposed to music by either of those legendary Jazz musicians? There's one that I know of. Kansas native and Montana resident Jenn Adams had a passion for both back in the early 1970s. She also had young ears for the sounds of big-band music, Otis Redding, Mozart and has been influenced by Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell. This, her second CD, is called In The Pool. If Andy Griffith hawked it, he'd probably crinkle his eyebrows and say, "good music!"

The bittersweet melody of "Joliet" is the starting point, and a good one, containing the provocative lines, "Like everything in front of me I'm not so sure/Everything behind scares me even more/Love and Departure waiting at the station/With a quiet smile and promised invitation." To its credit, the fourth song "Not Tonight" revs things up musically, evoking Bob Dylan's "Everything is Broken," and showcases Adams' highly skilled vocal vibrato. "1846" is half-spoken/half-sung poetry with lines like "When will the wind stop blowing me away/...The long winter cut me deep across the plain/When Lewis, he came through/Wasn't any different, the same damn wind blew," accompanied by some bitter folk rock musical weather. "All These Attachments" is a short folk-blues workout where Adams' adept singing shines again. She'd probably be exceptional at singing doo-wop or a cappella.

"Mozambique" features foreboding & exotic percussion, including lyrics of danger, like "There is no way out of a mystery/On the tenth floor of a burning building" and "Now he is sleeping with one eye open." "Leave the Light On" has a melancholic Jazz feeling, highlighted by lines like "Out in the world.../Where the people are losing control/We have forgotten one another/We have forgotten our home." "Speed of Light" is so pretty you could almost slide under its covers as you tuck yourself in for the night. Unrecognizable until the lyrics begin, a decent cover (and duet with Malcolm Holcombe) of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" finishes this disc.

Jenn Adams is an exceptional talent. You can hear samples and find out more about her at