Sunday, May 10, 2009

Breaking the Barrier

Jill Sobule is a lot of fun. She's received press lately for her success in raising money from her fans for the production of her latest CD, The California Years.

I've been a fan for years. She hits the sweet spot musically for me. Principally a humorist, Jill is capable of zinging your heartstrings by speaking directly to you about her life struggles. She's like Loudon Wainwright, except with a voice (and possibly appearance) that will put you in mind of Blossom Dearie.

I suppose that you could call Jill a folksinger for several reasons. She writes and plays on an acoustic guitar. She is a storyteller whose topical pieces, like Loudon's, have been featured on NPR. In an interview on All Things Considered, she said she'd like to travel around producing albums about every city she visits. (Check out the song "San Francisco" from her latest release.) Now if that's not invoking Woody Guthrie, I don't know what is!

But I'm more inclined to think of her as a pop singer. I Kissed a Girl, her one hit from the 1990s, certainly fits that description. She is instantly appealing. She launches into her stories and you're quickly caught in the narrative. Her guitar playing provides a driving backdrop that will remind you of some form of flamenco or perhaps bossa nova.

Through her music you make an intimate connection with her. Jill Sobule's website is terrific. I've seen her published on the Huffington Post and in the pages of Popular Songwriter magazine. She's such a witty writer. Check out her blogs and get in touch with her world--especially if you need a good laugh!