Eden Brent review…May 5, 2014…

EDEN BRENT

JIGSAW HEART

YELLOW DOG RECORDS  YDR 2116

BETTER THIS WAY–EVERYBODY ALREADY KNOWS–JIGSAW HEART–OPPORTUNITY–I WISH I KNEW HOW IT WOULD FEEL TO BE FREE–THE LAST TIME–PANTHER BURN–LET’S GO AHEAD AND FALL IN LOVE–TENDIN’ TO A BROKEN HEART–LOCOMOTIVE–GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE–VALENTINE

For Eden Brent’s last album “Ain’t Got No Troubles,’  released in 2010, this native Mississippi woman of the blues took a trip down to New Orleans, for recording and a shot of inspiration.  For her latest, “Jigsaw Heart,” she journeyed here to Nashville, recording in Ben Folds Studio, which was formerly the classic RCA Studio A.  She brought in Colin Linden to produce and play guitar, and these twelve cuts make up her most personal album to date.

Heck, even if you recorded the whole thing on our front porch, you’d never take the sounds of the Delta out of Eden Brent.  Her piano style has elements of blues, soul, gospel, and country, while that lovely voice simply drips with those deep, Mississippi-rooted influences, and the instrumentation of Linden and the remaining cast give this set genre’-crossing appeal.

She starts things off with the somber story of an affair that is dying, and figures it would be “Better This Way” to just call it quits.  On the title cut, Dan Dugmore adds some good ole cryin’ pedal steel as Eden strives to pick up the “scattered pieces of a Jigsaw Heart,” hoping that a new lover can help her rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of the old love.  She covers Joan Armatrading’s “Opportunity,” the story of a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, with Colin’s guitar evoking those sounds of the Delta bluesmen.  This one also utilizes the outstanding gospel-tinged backing vocals of  The McCrary Sisters.  “Panther Burn” is a piano and mandolin piece that traces the seemingly-endless cycle of cotton plantation living and the hard work involved.  Colin adds in some fine acoustic work over Chris Carmichael’s fiddle and Eden’s vocal tale of a girl who knows the lovin’s over, and it’s time to “Get The Hell Out Of Dodge.”

We had two favorites, too.  Eden tells a lover who’s a bit pensive about doin’ the midnight creep that “it’s OK, Everybody Already Knows!”  This one is built around a solid left-hand boogie beat, which would make her mentor, Boogaloo Ames, proud.  And, the double-entendres’ fly fast and furious in the ever-so-sly-and-sexy New Orleans-flavored gumbo of  “Let’s Go Ahead And Fall In Love.”

Eden Brent is a three-time Blues Music Award winner, and it is easy to see why.  “Jigsaw Heart” gives the listener an excellent sampler platter of her many diverse styles, all steeped in her love for the blues.  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society

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