One woman and her banjo walks the well-trodden Americana path. That’s the impression that the superficial may get from Jill Hepburn’s album “The Lantern Has Fallen”. Sonically, it has that nicely played, easy going feel but there is more to Ms Hepburn than that.
The sense of the traditional does indeed pervade the album yet the comfy revivalism so beloved of the festival circuit folksters is absent here and, whilst it is true that the festival goers and cardigan wearers amongst you will scratch your beard meaningfully to the delicate instrumentality found in “The Ragged Garland”, the pearls are in her words. Take, for example, “I’m Gonna Write Me A Country Song” where Ms Hepburn takes her banjo and her voice to reflect on the join the dots song writing mentality and, perhaps, on the fake cowboys that own the country – and most other – musical genres these days. Like I said, there more than revivalism to this lady.
Ms Hepburn’s voice is a sweet thing too with the kind of delicacy that reminds me of Nancy Griffith and it no hardship whatsoever to let “I’m Going Away For A While” wash over you. In summary, “The Lantern Has Fallen” is one of those albums that floats far above mediocrity and that’s a fact.