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Blues Bash Music Review: Jen Elliott & Bluestruck – 8 Days Down

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We should have known with Jen Elliott’s debut album title, Secret’s Out, she would be a stunning surprise to the music scene. Now with her sophomore release, 8 Days Down, Jen’s artistry is even more compelling, soulful, and downright slick – as in Grace Slick.

To fully appreciate Jen Elliott, you have to imagine the musical composition of Grace Slick seasoned with a powerful alto voice similar to Chrissy Hyndes. Rising up from 8 Days Down is the psychedelic-rock Slick brought to mainstream 40 years ago. “Garden Of Delight” is a beautiful example of just that — a bluesy ballad that wavers between a '60s throwback and '80s new wave nostalgia. Jen’s backing band, Bluestruck, complements her angelic voice with equally impressive harmonies and guitar work.

In “Stand,” Elliott — like Grace — praises the female role in modern music as well as modern love with its lyrics, “I will stand in the sunlight naked with my soul stretched across the sky … I am beautiful in my honesty and I’m living my own life.” Long after the song has ended, I can still feel the weight of her words. Tinges of gospel, the church music instilled in Elliott’s childhood, reappear in remarkable rock 'n’ soul semblances such as “Bringing Me Down” and “Captivity.”

The Pretenders come to mind on “Try To Forget” and “Full” — the difference being country/folk has now replaced post-punk. Again, Bluestruck makes Elliott’s seductive deliverance that much more beguiling with sultry back up vocals and interesting string accompaniments — especially in “Full,” where the introduction and bridges are reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s 12-string guitar.

All in all, Jen Elliott is a poetic siren with a panoramic sound window, ranging from fiery to finesse. 8 Days Down combines her rock and roll roots with folk, blues, and vintage pop. The result is a soulful soundscape that will lure you in and keep you listening far longer than you expected.

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About Joanne Schenker

  • Bari Goodman

    Wow, terrific review of Jen! I’ve seen her live and she’s incredible. Just wondering one thing, the review is about “8 Days Down” but it has purchase information on her first album “The Secret’s Out”…just wondering why?

  • joanne

    Thank you, Bari. You’re definitely right. I’ll check it out and hopefully it will be fixed. Glad you liked the review.