Reviews | Roots Music Report

Album Review of
These Days
Jill Jack

Written by Mark Gallo
December 30, 2017 - 12:00am EST
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Opening with a gospel-propelled “Where Were You,” a tune that asks what her baby was up to, Jill Jack and her crackerjack band offer a musical calling card that demands to be heard. The instrumentation is tight, the arrangement is superb and Jill Jack, one of the stars in the universe that is the Detroit music scene, is a delight. In a city known for its many outstanding female singers, Jack managed to score an amazing 41 Detroit Music Awards over the course of her career.  Backed by Brian Chester White (guitar, vocals), Mark Iannace (accordion, vocals), Ron Pangborn (drums), Bernie Palo (keys), and John Barron (bass), she has one of the outstanding rock/Americana records of the year.

Standout tunes are everywhere. “Amelia” (“we’ve all been broken hearted”) has an acoustic groove that is riveting. “Red Dirt Girl,” not the Emmylou Harris song (tho Jack counts Emmylou as one of her greatest influences) talks about not getting far removed from our roots with its perfectly placed and brooding accordion as she sings (“innocence stolen like a thief in the night”). Also recommended is “Can’t Let Go,” with a dab of Roy Orbinson and Jerry Lee Lewis in the serous rockin’ number, and “You and Me Against the World.” Ironically, the only tune that isn’t original is the Jackson Browne title tune, which she sings with conviction.

Launching a new tour in support of the album, keep an ear out for the disc on January 9, and look for Jill Jack and the fellas to be performing at or near a venue near you soon.