Jesse Lafser – Raised On The Plains – A Review

Read our review of Raised On The Plains by Jesse Lafser

jesse lafser

Singer-songwriter Jesse Lafser released her second album, Raised On the Plains in April 2015 (Two Jack Records).

The collection of songs has an authentic homespun vibe, heavily inspired by Lafser‘s travels and, as you move through the songs, it’s a little like being in the back seat for a road trip.

Lafser’s musical style is inspired by the blues and ragtime sounds native to her (supposedly?*) home town of St Louis Missouri.  But, there’s also a strong folk style that evokes Bob Dylan and Gillian Welch and maybe shaped by the city she now calls home, Nashville.  The hybrid mix is refreshing and engaging.

She is an interesting songwriter with a crisp narrative style and a terrific guitar finger-picker to boot.  “Jack Hat Blues” is a playful and joyful country boogie opening track, while “When It Comes To Loving You” and “The Chores Song” showcase her guitar prowess, the delicate interplay between the players and the dexterous production touch.  “Darlin’, It’s A Waste Of Time” is a delightful and mature country blues number and “Gone, Gone, Gone” is a thoughtful tale of a relationship’s sudden setting which possesses nice harmonies.  “Medicine Man” is a brisk-paced traditional track, while “Mountain Air” is a highlight – reflective and intense, it’s about absence and loss.  For me, “Circus Of Saints” has a definite Dylan influence, particularly in Lasfer’s honest and no-frills vocal delivery.  “Queen Of The Band” has more flourish and instrumentation, with a strong and poignant chorus.  “Virginia Morning” is another deft style switch, with a traditional feel about love, beloved places and traditions.  The album’s closer “The Great Divide” is another high point, a profoundly emotional tale of the strength of family bonds.

Raised On The Plains is authentically unpolished and thoroughly enchanting.  The many ingredients are captured, blended and produced with a light touch.  It’s a winner.

The album features some of Nashville’s favorite session players – Jeremy Fetzer (Steelism, Andrew Combs), Evan Hutchings (Brandi Carlile, Sara Watkins, Escondido), Justin Moses (Ricky Skaggs, Sierra Hull), as well as special guests Will Kimbrough and SHEL.

* On the album’s liner notes, producer Peter Cooper says:

“When I asked Jesse, she told me she was raised in St. Louis, but later I found the truth: She was raised a couple of years ago, on a back mountain highway between Taos and Raton. She had to pull the car over. The landscape – jagged, piercing mountains juxtaposed with tall grass, startling wildflowers, and ceaseless plains – matched the sounds she wanted to create. She wrote these songs – even the one about Virginia – on that back mountain highway. She tells people she wrote them on Mansfield Street in Nashville, but that’s not true at all. The songs are true, though. You can trust them. I do.” 

Read our review of Raised On The Plains by Jesse Lafser

Read our review of Raised On The Plains by Jesse Lafser


Via The Press House

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Author: Rob Dickens

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