Country of origin:
Type of music generally:
JR Rhodes does not seem like a "type" of music. Atmospheric folk? Edgy pop? I gave up and looked to the Laurie Freelove page for inspiration. It said this, and I think that works just fine: evocative/eclectic alternative pop/folk. (7/00, neal)
Most recent release, Elixir, Vol. 1: The Best of JR Rhodes (compilation, 2013); most recent release of new material, AfriQueen Stare (2003)
Her voice sounds remarkably like Toni Childs', though her music sounds pretty different. There are also hints (again vocally) of Marianne Faithfull, Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes), Laurie Freelove and Tracy Chapman. (neal)
Mostly own, very occasional co-writing, occasional covers
JR Rhodes has a rich, rich voice and that and her electric guitar playing alone are enough to sustain songs, even the slow ones. Think Joan Osborne or Tracy Chapman (similar voice, though with a little more smoky/Marianne Faithfull) with a stripped-down/evocative electric guitar backup. (Neile)
Comments about live performance:
I have only heard JR Rhodes live a couple of times at "in the round" Persephone's Circle performances and other brief performances but she stands out as being a dynamic performer. I'd love to see a full-length concert. Soon. (Neile)
Recommended first album:
Any—all are impressive
See JR Rhodes's site
Highly recommended for fans of slow bluesy rock
JR Rhodes—vocals, gitter
Brad Houser—basses, rhodes, lead gitter on 1 track
Great jazzy/folky/pop/rock from another member of Seattle's Persephone's Circle. She's got a throaty rich voice kind of like Joan Osborne, and the songs aren't that far from her earlier stuff, especially the way she uses her voice. Strong songwriting here, too, hooky and haunting. I've played this ep a lot, and recommend it highly. (Neile)
See JR Rhodes's site
JR Rhodes—vocals, guitar
Willow, Nancy Colton, Sarah Keenan, Kym Tuvin—back vocals
This album has taken a while to grow on me, but it hasn't been an unpleasant journey. What's taken time, for me, is that it's not a very melodic album. Right off the bat, I was intrigued by her rough voice and the atmospheric and world music touches in the arrangements. However, the songs are not the kind that I'll hum on the way to work. (Certainly not the be-all and end-all of song requirements, but if I can't get it out of my head, I'll definitely remember it.) I was told I wouldn't like this album because it was a folk album. I wasn't familiar with my bias against folk albums, but I also would not consider this to be folk music. There's a touch of world music in it, from the tabla on "Pray For Rain" to the rippling guitars (akin to a lot of African music, or maybe that's a Fripp influence?) that are all over the album. But these are just hints, and it is definitely not a world music album either. It has a very fluid sound, with the guitar lines nicely intertwining with the bass and drums, and additional instruments flesh out various songs. It's an album that rewards careful attention, as there is a lot going on in the instrumental interplay. (7/00, neal)
See JR Rhodes's site
J.R.—vocals, guitar, harmony vocals
Paul Moore—Hammond (1)
Mell Dettmer & J.R. Rhodes
This is a powerfully emotional album, informed by the loss of J.R.'s sister. The songwriting here is strong—there are so many songs here that give me shivers. The title track is especially effective, and even J.R.'s blusey cover of "Landslide" is impressive amongst the plethora of covers of that song out there. I also love her setting of Langston Hughes's poem "A Dream Deferred." Really, this whole album is exceptionally good—for each song there's a reason to talk about how wonderful it is, and they add up to an album that deserves a lot more attention. Go to CD Baby and listen to the samples. You'll thank me. (Neile)
DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.
|Entry last updated 2015-06-14 12:46:15.
Please request permission if you wish to
reproduce any of the comments in the
Ectophiles' Guide in any context.
The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music is copyright © 1996-2004 by the editors.
Individual comments are copyright © by their authors.
Web site design and programming copyright © 1998-2004 usrbin design + programming.
All rights reserved.