Janet Burgan

“She is nothing less than a vocal lava flow, sweeping over a room . . .”
– Joe Del Priore, The Hudson Current

“. . . allowing her to connect with the audience in a folksy, intimate way that disarms and charms instantly.”
– Jonathan Charles Fox, The River Reporter

Named for the Brooklyn studio beloved of indie- and roots-rockers, Janet Burgan’s second album is much like her first, a tasteful mix of folksy covers and charming originals, tied together by her appealing vocals and a crack backing band.

The disc opens with a pair of Burgan love songs whose lyrics offer beguiling simplicity. After that come mostly familiar (but never overplayed) tunes by Karla Bonoff, John Hiatt, Nanci Griffith, Dave Alvin, John Prine, Jules Shear, and two by Lyle Lovett. The mood is often wistful, a feeling reinforced by Burgan’s singing. She’s got a pretty quaver in her voice that bespeaks vulnerability, and a flexible sense of rhythm that, on occasion, lags just far enough behind the beat (like an old-time jazz player) to create tension.

Burgan plays acoustic rhythm guitar. Dan Hovey handles the leads on electric and slide, Neil Thomas alternates piano, organ, and accordion, Graham Maby contributes his usual limber bass lines, and Diego Voglino offers restrained but supportive drumming. Anyone who fondly remembers Marti Jones will enjoy Burgan’s similar yet distinctive approach.

-Steve Holtje, Senior Editor CDNOW