The late Chuck Culminale, leader of the band Colorblind James, once said, “If only this was the face of country music ? Jennie Stearns’ CD is so full of character, it seems to have a life of its own.”

He certainly wasn’t talking about Nashville’s corporate pop mush, but rather the rootsy Americana music that is so often overlooked by syndicated radio. Although he was referring to Stearns’ debut CD, “Angel with a Broken Wing,” his words are nonetheless apt for her latest album, “Sing Desire.”

In her fourth release, this founding and former member of the seminal roots-rock band “Donna the Buffalo” forges exciting new ground while keeping many of the sounds that have made her a regional favorite.

The opening track, “You Save Me,” has a jazzy-rock sound and electronic loops reminiscent of Madder Rose, while “Sleeping” is ethereal and gypsy -like.

However, Stearns’ songwriting shines on the catchy “Country Road and Early Train” and in the waltzes that have made her distinctive, like “Too Close.” Stearns’ songs are simple arrangements that build on well-crafted layers, and her lyrics are sweet, crystalline and dreamy.

She is, as usual, backed by a diverse and talented band including Chad Crumm, Mary Lorson, Johnnie Dowd, Harry Aceto and her husband, Richie Stearns of the Horse Flies.

She spent part of her summer touring with The Cowboy Junkies but is now touring the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Her beautiful lyrics and patient melodies have garnered strong reviews from “Dirty Linen and Performing Songwriter,” and Starbucks will feature two of her songs on its forthcoming “Hear Music Volume 8.”

You can find her music at www.jenniestearns.com and hear her perform September 25 at the Club at the Water Street Music Hall, where she will share the stage with Rose Polenzani.

Lippert can be reached at plippert@campustimes.org.



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