Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Jane Voss & Hoyle Osborne

  • Get to the Heart [Green Linnet, 1981] B+
  • Never No More Blues [Ripple, 2015] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Get to the Heart [Green Linnet, 1981]
There's only one Irving Berlin song here, but it's Berlin's vulgar, magnanimous, democratic tunefulness that Voss claims for the folkie sensibility. And though her voice sure isn't as strong as Bessie Smith's, as she's good enough to point out in another tribute, she also wants to wail and moan. So where Joan Morris does Berlin by simulating the careful pitch and intonation of '20s pop singers, who still cowered in the shadow of operetta, Voss flats her melodies shamelessly, sounding half like a jazz improviser and half like Sister in her cups and/or parlor. Pianist Osborne is squarer than need be and composer Voss sometimes runs on at the mouth, but get to the heart they do. B+

Never No More Blues [Ripple, 2015]
Veteran folkie adds period pop to Bessie-Jimmie-etc., a welcome move in itself and because it suits her lean voice. ("Cheer Up! Smile! Nertz!," "Baby Rose") ***