Mysterious, beautiful, fey, elusive-all of these words describe poet-musician Jessie Haynes new CD, The Secret Life of Cinderella. This lovely CD is a work of art from start to finish-from the magickal collage liner art, to the poetic power of Haynes lyrics, to the delicacy and artistry of the instrumentation. In fact, this musical fairytale-I think back in the 70s they would have called this a concept album-is a fully conceived and lovingly executed multimedia work about the power of imagination as the true source of magic. Its no surprise that her songwriting and vocals are reminiscent of Suzanne Vega, while some songs have the same trippy Renaissance flavor as very early Pink Floyd. Jessie Haynes brings her considerable skills and talents as a musician, singer and poet to a project that must obviously have been a labor of love: it is so richly drawn and emotionally diverse. Haynes sings, and plays guitars, bass, keyboards, recorder and percussion. The Secret Life of Cinderella ranges from gentle acoustic folk to heartfelt, gritty blues. Her sweet soprano is deceptively delicate on songs like Beyond the Wishing Well and Sister, where the interplay of her voice, soft guitar and powerful lyrics is nothing less than heartbreaking. The Rowan Tree is a dark-toned instrumental, redolent of autumn fires and rising mists, and You and Eye is a stunning evocation of the Dark Goddess (She can take us through the Dark)that just gives me goose bumps each time I listen to it. Things heat up a bit on Fortune Surfer, a sexy, bluesy stomp which expertly pairs Jessies fey vocals with a restrained but evocative guitar and bass line. Here more of a driving rock edge comes forward and Haynes performs with passion and swagger. Haynes The Secret Life of Cinderella is a beautifully conceived, produced and performed CD, a lush work of art. Highly recommended. Leni Hester NewWitch Magazine 2008 ***************************** The Secret Life of Cinderella marks a milestone in the evolution of a singer-songwriter and guitar player who has claimed a style of music all her own. Her sweet voice sweeps through the speakers. Supporting her musically are pleasing female harmonies and lilting melodies that curve with emotion. Sometimes the music drips a ballad or struts a funky blues that makes snapping fingers seem like the right thing to do. The lyrics can break your heart of send it soaring with happiness. At the forefront of each song is accomplished musicianship that doesnt trip over itself. What tthe ear hears is lush music that conjures stories, even if no one is seeing. The recording is a personal way for Ms. Haynes to serve up music thats representative of where she is now as a musician and as a person. -Pat Rogers, The Southampton Press 2007.
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