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Jennifer Kimball


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Contemporary folk, folk/rock

Status:

First album, Oh Hear Us (2006)

See also:

Jennifer Kimball's Official Homepage

The Ectophiles' Guide entry for The Story

Comparisons:

More pop than Lucy Kaplansky; more folk than Suzanne Vega. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional covers

General comments:

I realized that the sound I loved so much in The Story was not lost when I heard Jennifer sing in Patty Larkin's band at Falcon Ridge '96, and on with Carrie Newcomer. Her voice & harmony skills are quite portable :) No wonder she's one of the most sought-after backup singers in the industry today, appearing on over 20 albums that I know of (including ones by Jim Infantino, Carrie Newcomer, Peter Mulvey, Geoff Bartley, John Gorka, Barbara Kessler, Catie Curtis, Patty Larkin, & Dennis Brennan). I often buy these albums more to hear Jennifer Kimball sing harmony with someone, anyone, than I do for the person named on the cover. (cos@wbrs.org)

If you like Jonatha Brooke, you might know that Jennifer Kimball and Jonatha Brooke were The Story at one time. Jennifer has a gorgeous voice and blends sooooo well with Jonatha—rather sounds like her, too. I have Jennifer's EP called Demo and was anxiously awaiting news of a forthcoming full-length CD. Well, here it is! Happy, happy, joy, joy! (Riphug@aol.com)

Jennifer Kimball will probably always have her solo career compared to Jonatha Brooke's, since together they were The Story. But I think they are quite different. If Jonatha sings folk-tinged pop, Jennifer sings pop-tinged folk. (JoAnn Whetsell)

what i find most remarkable about jennifer kimball is how far she's come since the story. the story seemed to me to be pretty much jonatha brooke's deal and, near as i could tell, jennifer just provided harmonies and such. i always suspected she was capable of much more and i was thrilled when she delivered the goods on veering from the waves. i don't know if she was always a songwriter and musician suppressing that side of herself during the story years or not. if she's picked up everything since going solo, kudos to her. if not, boos and hisses to jonatha for taking the limelight in the story. in any event, i much prefer jennifer's down-to-earth, bespectacled goofiness to jonatha's primadonna. (woj@smoe.org)

Comments about live performance:

I saw her with her full band two months ago—the same band as on the album, including Lucy Kaplansky on vocals and Mr. Texture Marc Shulman on guitar—and that was a real treat. (Riphug@aol.com)

Then Jennifer Kimball did a set, accompanied by the ubiquitous Marc Shulman on spastic electric guitar. (He always plays like he's getting constant electric shocks from the thing.) Unbelievably, this was the first time I've managed to see her play live. woj was a lot more blown away than I was, but I thought she wasn't disappointing. I liked her "little instruments"—baritone ukelele (could someone please tell me how this instrument differs from the tenor guitar?) and strum stick. For "Veering From The Wave" she asked Kris Delmhorst up to sing harmony with her, and it was a deliciously Story-like moment. (9/00, meth@smoe.org)

i was really pleased by her performance. "blown away" might be too strong a word, but i admit to post-show gushing. there's just something about her and her work which clicks with me. i can't explain it. (9/00, woj@smoe.org)

Recommended first album:

Veering From the Wave

Recordings:


Veering From the Wave

Release info:

1998—Imaginary Road Records—31455-80812

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Jennifer Kimball—vocals, acoustic guitar, strumstick, baritone ukulele

Guest artists:

Marc Shulman—electric guitar, baby electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Zev Katz—bass, lounge piano, fretless bass
Ben Wittman—drumset, percussion, keyboards
Duke Levine—acoustic slide solo, baritone guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, baritone electric guitar, forwards and backwards electric and baritone electric guitar
Rick Hammett—trumpet
Denis Lambert—euphonium
Peter Cirelli—bass trombone
Lucy Kaplansky—vocals
Larry Campbell—acoustic guitar, bouzouki
Mike Rivard—acoustic bass, bass, fretless bass
Jerry O'Sullivan—uilleann pipes
Ry Cavanaugh—excerpt from "Lighthouse Light" on "Take One Step"
Peter Eldridge, Theo Bleckman—vocal loop

Produced by:

Ben Wittman (executive producer Dawn Atkinson)

Comments:

It's almost a foregone conclusion it'll be on my Top Ten List. It will inevitably be compared to Jonatha Brooke's work, but it stands on its own quite well. I'm a little surprised at how similar her voice is to Jonatha's, which explains why they blended so well as The Story. (steve_bornstein@hotmail.com)

Ok...I made a special point of sitting down and listening to this carefully, making notes as thoughts popped into my head. Here's what I wrote:
     1. "Meet Me in the Twilight"—I can imagine hearing this on the radio. Jangly guitar with a cha-cha rhythm.
     2. "Kissing In the Car"—I love the dissonance and *different* melody—not your standard sing-along song.
     3. "Fall At Your Feet"—another cha-cha...makes me feel like I'm on a tropical island...I can imagine the early Beatles covering this one (yeah, I realize the timing would be off for that). ;-)
     4. "Gagna's Song"—ohmigod! a beautiful, slow, sad ballad of an elderly man thinking about ending his life and reflecting upon memories of love...that's a mandolin, right? And bagpipes? Or some kind of Celtic flute or something?
     5. "It's A Long Way Home"—yee-hah! A nice upbeat singalong that could almost cross over to country...except that bridge is a little too sophisticated, I think. Very radio-friendly.
     6. "An Ordinary Soldier"—slow...pretty...nice dissonance...could make a good addition to a movie soundtrack.
     7. "Take One Step"—another unusual melody, but sooooo pretty! another cha-cha...what is that sampled at the very end?
     8. "The Revelations"—jazzy beat—piano and brushed drums...then goes to a pop-sounding beat reminiscent of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" (I'm sure I'm dating myself here).
     9. "(This Is) My New Vow"—Jennifer and a banjo (or is it mandolin?)...shows off her beautiful, clear voice and range.... I don't understand the abrupt ending.
     10. "World Without End"—the song with the most dissonance, this is another beautiful slow song...but what's with the 30 second piano thing at the end?
     11. "Veering From the Wave"—"to the fury"...Jennifer and her guitar...in 3/4 time...has a Cowboy Junkies feel to it because of the echo-ish low guitar.
     12. "Lullaby"—not your typical lullaby.
     Jennifer Kimball has truly amazing song-writing talents and a very easy-to-listen-to voice. This album has lots of *love tunes* is very relaxing. Two of the things I like best about Jennifer's singing are (1) how you can hear her breathing and (2) how she often sings words slightly offbeat of their notes.
     The songs on this album are intensely emotional. Yes...it does seem to be very much Jennifer and her strings...which I enjoy. Almost like being at the show again! I can't wait for her work with Lucy Kaplansky and the Wayfaring Strangers...and for another solo effort from Jennifer.
     Oh, by the way—the only track that is on Jennifer's Demo but not on Veering From the Wave is "The Back of Your Hand."
     See her if you get a chance! (Riphug@aol.com)

This hardly constitutes a review, but if you liked The Story, you'll like the new Jennifer Kimball. I was amazed at how much of The Story's sound was from Ms. Kimball. Plus she does a lovely version of Neil Finn's "Fall At Your Feet." (colford@chlotrudis.org)

I was never a The Story fan, and after a handful of listens, well, I won't miss this when I send it on to a friend. There are a few tunes that I actually notice, but most of the time this disc just floats right by me. (neal)

A surprising, original album of quirky and emotional folk music. Even better appreciated after you've seen her live. (gregdunn@indy.net )

A good debut, but still with the pitfalls many debuts have. I really like "Meet Me in the Twilight" and "It's a Long Way Home" which are catchy and up-beat, but she loses me on the slower songs. The album is solid folk, but with a bit of a twist, a bit different. Still, it's great to have a song that mentions my school name ("From Ispwich to Oberlin..." from "Gagna's Song") She has a nice voice, and I expect good things from her in the future. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I recently got my hands on a copy of the new Jennifer Kimball album, and though I do quite enjoy it, I found it a little eerie at how much she sounds like Jonatha Brooke. After listening for even a few moments, I was already commenting on not only how much her musical style almost mirrored her old Story mate, but even how ABSOLUTELY close her voice sounded to Jonatha's. Yes, this is likely because of their past collaborative efforts together, and their obvious artistic symbiosis at that time, but Jonatha's musical presence has evolved and changed since the break-up, and I found it almost freaky to hear that Jennifer's had seemed to evolve the same way. It's not to say that I don't like the album. (In a way, it's almost like getting a bonus Jonatha Brooke album out of nowhere) I enjoy it a great deal. (RavFlight@aol.com)

i think the most attractive element of the album is that it has the right amount of additional instrumentation to keep it from getting boring without being too muddled—in my opinion, important issues for singer/songwriters. oh yeah, the lyrics are pretty good too! (woj@smoe.org)


Further info:

Jennifer also appears on the "This is Boston, Not Austin Volume 2" compilation CD, which is available through Eastern Front Records. She contributes a track to the Respond double-cd, a benefit for the non-profit Respond Inc. of Boston, featuring Boston-area singer-songwriters.

She and Lucy Kaplansky were guest vocalists with a new folk-group called "Wayfaring Strangers."

To be on Jennifer's mailing list, write to: Heyman Mailing Service, 5609 Fisher's Lane, 3B, Rockville, MD 20852. E-mail list available through the website.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2012-05-21 00:57:06.
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