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So often in life we have to travel the emotional distance between loss and love. We find ourselves running from loss to embrace love, or sometimes, running from love to keep pace with emptiness and sadness.
For critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Jeanne Jolly, this type of bittersweet transitional period inspired her most soulful and vulnerable album to date. Aptly, she calls her sophomore album, to be released October 2nd, A Place To Run.
“When I look at this record, I realize every song speaks to that title,” the Raleigh, North Carolina-based artist reveals. “There are songs about a place to run to get away from grief or deal with it. There are songs about a place to run for refuge and clarity, as well as running to someone you love”
Jeanne Jolly’s artistry encompasses the heartfelt confessional quality of the singer-songwriter tradition, the earthiness of American roots music, a hint of jazz sophistication, and the smoldering emotionality of soul balladry. Her vocals exhibit a honeyed expressivity, shifting between down-homey and sweetly soaring. Previously, she’s released an EP and a full length—her first album, Angels, debuted in the Top 15 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart. She’s garnered plum accolades such as being praised as a singer/songwriter who “melds folksy, soulful country with heavenly, heartfelt lyricism” (News & Observer), and as a vocalist who “can easily shift to the dusky lilt of Alison Krauss or the sophisticated jazz phrasing of Ricki Lee Jones” (Missoulian). The Boston Globe calls her “one of contemporary music’s best kept secrets. She is a revelation when you sit in on one of her concerts.” Atlanta Music Guidesays, “Damn, that Jeanne Jolly can sing. Imagine Joni Mitchell with Billy Holidays stylings.” Over the years, she’s built robust live profile through tireless touring. She’s shared the stage with such respected artists as Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Billy Joe Shaver, Jim Lauderdale, Sam Bush, Scott Miller, Maura O’Connell, Chuck Mead, Chuck Prophet, and Chatham County Line.
Jeanne began her musical career as a featured vocalist for Chris Botti. While touring with the Grammy award-winning jazz trumpeter, she worked with world-renowned symphonies and had the distinct honor to perform at venues such as Carnegie Hall and play marquee events such as the Monterey Jazz Festival. She is classically trained as a singer and holds a master’s degree in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory of Music.
On A Place To Run, her music background comes together organically, like never before. Her accomplished musicality, intimate lyrics, and passion and respect for the heritage of country, folk, and soul music smoothly blend together with elegant earthiness.
A Place To Run is grittier and heavier, in terms of groove and lyrical content, than any of Jeanne’s previous releases. “We were going for a more soulful and unrestricted sound this time around.” Jeanne confirms. “The rich and earthy sounds of Wurlitzer organs, woodwinds, lap steel, Juno, guitars, and thick vocal harmonies bring a deeper and more soul stirring sound overall.”
The album finds Jeanne reunited with childhood friend (they’ve been buds since kindergarten) and musical confidante Chris Boerner. Chris is her guitarist, co-writer on their song, “Boundless Love”, and previously produced her debut, Angels. “Chris gets my language, I trust him, and he’s the groove master,” Jeanne says. Chris produced, mixed, and mastered A Place To Run. The album was tracked at The Fidelitorium in Kernersville, NC with a special eight-piece band. “We carefully chose the musicians we love to record with us,” Jeanne reveals. Besides Chris Boerner, the band features Jeanne’s longtime pedal steel player Allyn Love, Phil Cook and Brad Cook from the acclaimed Raleigh band Megafuan, and Bon Iver drummer Matt McCaughan, among other stellar instrumentalists James Wallace & Matt Douglas.
The profound themes of love, loss, and running between these extremes permeates the album. On the country-porch soul of “Gypsy Skin” Jeanne sings, “let me be your sweet relief/let me light up your darkest night.” Here, she offers a place for her lover to run to, as a home away from a restless heart. The beautifully complex tapestry of moony melodicism on “California” cycles through acceptance & mourning until reaching a peaceful closure. The album title is from a lyric in the swampy and stately “Boundless Love.” “That song is about the fact that everyone needs a place to run. The message is–don’t put limitations on love and expression, be free and bold with your love, and pray with your feet moving. Don’t wait around for life to come to you.” Jeanne says.
A Place To Run turned out to be a three-year journey. “In that time, I’ve winded down the touring of my last album, soaked in my life here in North Carolina with family, and focused more on my songwriting. I’ve definitely come to a better understanding of my own balance with this musical carrot that dangles in front of me every single day & the renewal that comes from putting it down to walk with my husband & dog.” Jeanne says reflecting back. “Now, I’m busting at the seams to get out there and share these songs with everyone.”
Live Video (Duo)
Live Video (Solo)
WRAL Tarheel Traveler Interview
“Once seen and heard, singer-songwriter Jeanne Jolly from Raleigh, N.C., is hard to forget, her songs easy to remember — especially if you have her debut, “Angels,” and have the habit of playing over and over the 10-track collection released last October. One of contemporary music’s best-kept secrets, she is a revelation when you sit in on one of her concerts.” The Boston Globe
“Whether or not her writing is autobiographical, Jolly’s songs of rekindled memories (“Matches and Gasoline” “Circles in the Sky”), rediscovery (“Without You”) and admiration (“Good Man”) ring true. It’s rare to hear someone with such technical control turn notes blue without feeling as if they’re calibrating just how blue to let them turn. But Jolly sings from an emotional place and her voice responds to what she’s seeking to express; it’s the sort of connection between soul and voice you hear in the singing of Patty Loveless, Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell, and well worth hearing for yourself.” Hyperbolium
“Her accomplished musicality, intimate lyrics, and passion and respect for the heritage of country, folk, and soul music smoothly blend together with elegant earthiness.” No Depression
“A classically trained vocalist, Jolly’s new record, A Place to Run, takes her deep into country music territory. And while the Raleigh native may look like a composed Southern Grace Kelly, on stage, she gets down, with powerhouse vocals evocative of Linda Ronstadt and the ethereal harmonies of Alison Krauss.” Walter Magazine
Soulful country, delivered with an appealing touch of vocal savvy, is the calling card of Ms. Jolly. The Raleigh-based singer-songwriter shifts emotional gears as seamlessly as her smartly crafted lyric sets require, at times conjuring a young Ronstadt. Standouts include “Gypsy Skin”, “Boundless Love” and “Without You”. Roots Music Report
“Boundless Love, the first single from Jeanne Jolly’s upcoming A Place to Run, is a gorgeous slab of Americana and a showcase of a versatile Raleigh singer coming into her own. Co-written with Chris Boerner, who also plays guitar and handles production duties, the soulfully swaying Boundless Love shifts from country crooning to blues belting, with R&B-inflected melismas punctuating the tune. The blend is intoxicating. ” INDYweek
“The former Angeleno’s second full-length album since returning to her native North Carolina is an aural feast of melody and rootsy textures. Props to guitarist/producer Chris Boerner for sympatico, R&B-dappled arrangements that burnish the Americana songstress’s instinct for groove (the earthy “Boundless Love,” “Gypsy Skin”) and powerfully expressive soprano, which spins from the sensual poetry of “Matches and Gasoline” (“Whiskey kisses lit up like fireflies”) to breathy sweetness (“Good Man”) and righteous indignation (“Without You”). Jolly harnesses all that vocal firepower to piercing effect for “California,” which becomes a revelatory symbol for loss and life-transforming change. A gem.” Pasadena Weekly
“I recently had the pleasure of sharing a bill with Jeanne and was really knocked out by her voice, songs, and presence. I wasn’t able to prepare for my show because I was digging hers so much! She really covers a lot of ground with her material and she’s great at it!” Jim Lauderdale
“Jolly’s got one of those beautiful voices that would sound good singing just about anything. Fortunately she’s also an accomplished songwriter as well, and that helps make “A Place to Run” truly special. Among the many highlights of the too-short eight-track, 35-minute platter are “Matches and Gasoline,” “Gypsy Skin,” “Boundless Love,” personal favorite “Without You” and “Circles in the Sky.” Do yourself a favor and track down a copy of this fantastic release. You won’t regret it.” (Jeffrey Sisk) Pittsburgh In Tune
If you are a fan of the strong adult country music from the likes of Striking Matches, Joy Williams and Holly Williams, you’re sure to dig Jeanne Jolly’s A Place To Run. The 8 track album features strong opener “Matches And Gasoline (which showcases her Emily West-like vocals), single “California” and the stunning “The Dreamer.” These are songs that linger longer than the mainstream songs but the talent here is as good as anything on the mainstream and the songs may be even better (see “Circles In The Sky”). Roughstock.com
“There are plenty of singers with pretty voices, but Jolly is special. She can move from a gentle murmur to a gale-force wail in a split second in places and make it look easy; she has homegrown country charm but just as much urbane sophistication.” New York Music Daily (live review of recent show in NYC)
“Damn, that Jeanne Jolly can sing. All those metaphors comparing her voice to a songbird, an angel, a summer’s breeze, they just don’t cut it. Jolly’s voice is the first day of spring, after the grey dirty snow has melted and the sun beams down on the crocuses that begin to bloom. The birds sing while you sit on a porch swing with your new lover, a glass of wine in hand, gazing at the rainbow out west. No, that doesn’t cut it either. Imagine Joni Mitchell with Billie Holiday’s stylings. You’re getting warmer.” Atlanta Music Guide
“She is undeniabley a versatile singer with an amazing and rare ability to sing with the sophistication of modern jazz and the simple passion of Appalachian Americana. Jolly has a gorgeous voice that isn’t something you hear or happen upon everyday.” Common Folk Music Review
“This Jeanne Jolly deserves a place among the great names of the 21st century female singer songwriters and they should, in our opinion, have a very worth successor to this handsome debut album, ‘Angels’.” Rootstime Magazine, Belgium
“Angels is a solid, warm, and varied album that will satisfy virtually all who are fortunate enough to listen.” Americana Review
” An effortlessly masterful songwriter…” Pat Moran, Creative Loafing
“She and her band performed several songs from her newest CD Angels . Every song was filled with powerful lyrics, emotion and rhythm which moved the soul. It was an amazing concert performed by three talented artists…The crowd was mesmerized and engulfed with home grown music dipped in a Soulful style performance. It was a great show.” Tennessee’s Cumberland Insider
“In a time when a one-hit wonder creates instantaneous fame. It is refreshing when you find an artist that has been secretly developing a treasure trove of very beautiful, honest, and satisfying music…It takes a special talent to weave a traditional country sound with so many other genres and Jolly pulls it off without skipping a beat.” Wayne Independent, PA
“Her music now echoes her classical training but blurs the lines between folk, country, jazz and soul, and turns into something that’s her own sound”. Fayetteville Observer
“One track sounds like Sade shuffling beats and pedal steel twang; another, like she’s out to embarrass all of 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 our socks off. This is a promising start for a very talented singer and songwriter.”John Schacht, Creative Loafing
“she’s got an eye for detail, likes to work the suspense for all it’s worth, and her band is sensational” New York Music Daily
Booking Agent: Zack Johnson
Publicity: Lellie Capwell