Hollow Bones Jenee Halstead/Cd Baby After her excellent 2008 debut album The River Grace, rising roots singer-songwriter Jenee Halstead treats us to a fine new EP called Hollow Bones. Where The River Grace cut a fine line between folk and Americana, Hollow Bones opts for a more countrified approach, with five charming songs in a diversity of country styles, ranging from pure country (Damascus) via country-swing (Good Lookinâ€™ Boy) and country-noir (La Luna Roja) to country-blues (Banks Of The Mississippi). Best of all though is the melancholy title song, whose style harks back most to the kind of material found on The River Grace. With her wonderful singing voice, displaying grace and emotion in equal measure, any song Halstead tackles seems immediately blessed and although the EP, because of the variety, is more a showcase for her talents (and those of the excellent musicians accompanying her) than the coherent statement The River Grace cd was, her beguiling lyrics and melodies still underline that precious few singer-songwriters are able to conjure up the sort of magic Jenee Halstead displays here with almost every song. ***1/2 Pieter Wijnstekers
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