The Mary Janes' Flame

Joe Henry hits a jazzy blue note

Flame, the second album from alterna-country band the Mary Janes, has been out for about a month, but chances are you missed it. It just took me a while to give it a chance, let it play a few times. The Mary Janes are singer/songwriter/guitarist Janas Hoyt and viola/violin player Kathy Kolata; on the album additional musicians fill out the sound. Hoyt writes songs you feel, like "Telescope" and "Junie Moon"; her version of Tom Petty's "Free Girl Now" is really good, and also seems to sum her up. ... A new and, for some, highly anticipated Joe Henry album, Scar, comes our way via Mammoth Records on May 15. When I've paid attention to him in the past, Henry seemed more a singer/songwriter on the folk-rock side of town; he's delivered a pop-jazz album this time, with some wonderful piano solos, a mood that's sometimes reminiscent of early Randy Newman ("Cold Enough to Cross"), and an appearance by Ornette Coleman on a song called "Richard Pryor Addresses A Tearful Nation." [Tuesday, April 10, 2001]

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