Jeanne Jolly- Creative Loafing Charlotte

This Raleigh singer/songwriter’s road to country music has been anything but the traditional route. Trained in classical vocal performance — she earned a masters in it from the New England Conservatory of Music — Jolly then did a stint as pop jazz trumpeter Chris Botti’s featured vocalist. But Jolly grew up on the music of Loretta Lynn, the Judds and Tammy Wynette, and has returned to it with her debut, Angels. (Even her LP doesn’t come from where you’d expect; Angels is out on the label +FE, run by the R&B duo of Phonte Coleman and Nicolay Rook, aka, the Foreign Exchange, with whom Jolly sings.) Jolly puts all those influences together to great effect here. One track sounds like Sade accompanied by shuffling beats and pedal steel twang; another like she’s out to embarrass all the pop-country poseurs on CMT. She can even cover that beautiful voice in grit and go all Lone Justice/Maria McKee for a guitar-fueled tearjerker, and there’s even a waltz where that opera training kicks in and knocks your socks off. This is a promising start for a talented singer and songwriter.- John Schacht

Thursday, 4/25-Double Door Inn, 9pm

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