Now Playing: Jenny Reynolds’ ‘Any Kind Of Angel’

Jenny Reynolds
Image courtesy of Jenny Reynolds

American singer-songwriter and guitarist Jenny Reynolds is readying for the release of her new album Any Kind Of Angel. It’s set for release on June 16th. But first, for those not yet familiar with the artist in question, a bit o’ background.

Jenny Reynolds

Jenny Reynolds
Image courtesy of Jenny Reynolds

Native New Englander Jenny Reynolds has worked with such Boston-based performers as Kevin Barry, Catie Curtis, and Duke Levine. She relocated to Austin, Texas in 2003. The Austin Chronicle’s Critics Poll declared her “Best New Local Act” in 2005.

According to her official website, Reynolds was also “an Official Showcase Artist at SXSW 2008 and 2018.” Her resume also notes that she’s worked with Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Ian McLagan and Grammy Nominee Ruthie Foster and has also played a number of festivals and other live venues. Her music has been featured in TV and film projects including ABC’s long-running show “All My Children.” as well.

Signature sound

Jenny Reynolds’ signature sound is a mix of music genres. It includes Americana and folk music. Her sources of musical inspiration include Gillian Welch, James Taylor, and John Mater.

This new disc even has a jazz influence on the overall performance of this new release. Reynolds explains:

“Generally the people I like to play and record with are people who listen to others as much as they listen to themselves, much like jazz musicians do. We may not be playing jazz, but we are responding to each other with that kind of attentiveness and creativity.”

Any Kind Of Angel

Any Kind Of Angel is her fourth platter. It includes 10 tracks. Reynolds leads the way on guitar and vocals. She is backed by additional artists including: BettySoo (mandolin and harmonies,), Scrappy Jud Newcomb (nylon-string and electric guitar), producer Mark Hallman (drums, percussion and bass), Warren Hood (fiddle), Oliver Steck (cornet), Nate Rowe (bass), co-producer Andre Moran (electric guitar), and Jaimee Harris and Jenifer Jackson (harmonies).

Track by Track

The CD is off to a good start with “There Is a Road.” The song also quickly confirms Reynolds’ rep as a bit of a storyteller.

The second song is “Any Kind of Angel.” It’s clear why this one was chosen as the title track. It’s a sad song with lyrics that can apply to different circumstances depending on the listener’s specific circumstances at the time.  The next number is the “The Way That You Tease.” This sexy yet subtle song takes a slightly different direction. Still, the signature sound remains intact.

You can almost hear the dance steps on “Dance for Me.” It’s both the tale of a retired dancer and a potential musical metaphor with a simple, but sincere observation about personal happiness.

Is “The Trouble I’m In” a cautionary cut or simply a sad song complete with a tinge of Catholic guilt? It doesn’t matter. It has a smoky tinge and really works. This is a great gal with a guitar tune. Period.  The tuneful teamwork stays solid on “Love & Gasoline.” It’s an early fave of both critics and fans alike. It definitely deserves the attention.

“The Way We Say Goodbye” may not be totally unexpected here but this goodbye song is undoubtedly her own. The musical message, mind you, is soundtrack ready.

Also included here is “Before I Know You’re Gone.” While it might be overlooked due to its placement, don’t be fooled. This too, is pure Reynolds.  “White Knuckle Love (Didn’t I Know)” is one final exceptional example of what Reynolds can do as a songwriter. It is not, however, the album endnote.

The album endnote is her own adaptation of the Hank Williams classic “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Reynolds takes it in a different direction. To be honest, while originals can be impressive as in Reynolds’ case, a cover song provides common ground that creates a more immediate sense of familiarity and can be great in live venues.

Overall . . .

Overall, this album is a showcase of Reynolds’ current musical direction as a singer-songwriter. It also provides insight into her direction and growth as a musician. The original material here is a mixed bag of song-stories that can be personal, powerful or both. The confessional cuts reveal things to the listener not otherwise expected and the tuneful tales of trouble inspire empathy and a sense of nigh universal commonality. So check out Jenny Reynold’s Any Kind Of Angel because “There is a Road” to great new music and you’re on it.