Tag Archives: Jodie Marie

Jodie Marie – Trouble in Mind

Jodie Marie Trouble in MindAs any fan of the bands regularly covered on this site ought to know, there is a vast amount of excellent music that doesn’t have the benefit of major label publicity campaigns, and is the wrong genres to be covered by the fashionable media. Which means that many great records fly completely under the radar of everyone who doesn’t follow their particular scene.

Welsh singer-songwriter Jodie Marie is a typical example. I’ve already written about the bizarre way her début album appeared on the radar, but the album itself deserves a review, since it really is an excellent piece of work.

Trouble in Mind an immensely varied record, going from stripped-down intimate acoustic songs through guitar and organ led blues-rock to big band numbers featuring horn sections and gospel choirs. The sequencing is interesting, shifting between different moods across different parts of the album, beginning with several rootsy blues numbers, the middle of the album dominated by ballads, finishing with 70s-style rock numbers. It’s an unusual way of arranging an album, but the musical journey it takes you on actually works extremely well.

As a singer, Jodie Marie is a real talent, alternatively soulful and gutsy depending on the song. The album emphasises that; neither the horn arrangements nor Jimmy Brewer’s tastefully restrained lead guitar overwhelm the vocals.

With an LP-length running time of under forty minutes there’s no room for any filler, but there are plenty of highlights. There’s the funky lead single “Only One I’m Thinking Of”. The solo piano ballad “Reason to Believe” is a thing of beauty, and shows she is an accomplished pianist as well as a singer. Another standout is “For Your Love”, a slow-burning blues number featuring some excellent guitar from Daniel John Montagu Smith. The ballad “Everyone Makes Mistakes” and the rockier album closer “Later Than You Think”, both driven by Jodie’s electric piano, recall something of the feel of David Coverdale’s mid-70s album “Northwinds”, though of course the vocal style is quite different.

Trouble in Mind is precixely the sort of record which really deserves a far wider audience. It’s highly recommended for anyone who is more interested in great music by great musicians than contemporary fads and fashions.

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Have The Guardian just rigged their readers’ poll?

Disgraceful behaviour by The Guardian for The best albums of 2015 – readers’ picks 

We are in accord! For the first time any of us can recall, Guardian readers and Guardian writers had the same two favourite albums of the year, in the same order. This year, in a rare moment of rigour, we decided to exclude obvious attempts to game the system – so, Tinker’s Mitten (“like a beefier Flying Pickets”, one reader suggested, enticingly), Jodie Marie and Karnataka, we’re sorry; but next time you suspect your admirers might be voting for you en masse in a poll, tell them not to all vote at the same time (we record exactly when each vote is cast, for exactly this reason). Had they only spread their votes out a little more, all might well have featured in our top five.

So The Guardian admit to rigging the ballot, and the results then just happen to validate the boring consensus picks of the paper’s own critics.

Sorry, Guardian, but this stinks to high heaven.

If you run a poll with a public ballot on the internet with a very low barrier to entry, you surrender your riight to gatekeep the results, and accept the risk that outsiders might come and gatecrash your party. This happened last year when veteran punk satirists Half Man Half Biscuit was voted readers’ album of the year. The general consensus at the time was “Good on them. Anyone else could have done the same”.

What’s different this year, aside from Karnataka not being sufficiently fashionable for the gatekeepers? Running a ballot, then changing the rules when you get a result you don”t like really is out of order.

The irony is that had they not excluded Jodie Marie and Karnataka, they wouldn’t have have ended up with an all-male top five.  So much for the diversity The Guardian prides itself in.

A couple of minutes Googling reveals that there is no such band as “Tinker’s Mitten”. This might be because The Guardian got their name wrong, or it might be that The Guardian got pranked with votes for a fake band.  But Karnataka and Jodie Marie are very real. Were they just accidental collateral damage?

At this point the best thing The Guardian can do is admit that they screwed up, and republish a top ten (not a top five) with both Karnataka and Jodie Marie reinstated.

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