Till and Mule (Self-released, 2013)
Reviewed by Kevin Oliver
Lee is in full confessional singer-songwriter mode throughout, with the first-person emotional narrative of Painfully Clear just one example of how Lee can take a simple situation and imbue it with not just melody but melancholy.
There's a jazzy undercurrent here, on songs such as the waltz-time A Thing of Beauty or the folk-tale antiquity of Brave North Wind, that takes Lee's otherwise fairly standard issue acoustic country-folk-pop template and tilts it just enough to make things intriguing to a listener not expecting much of a challenge from another female singer-songwriter.
Lee's far from just another anything, however, as she has managed here to take her own myriad influences - some obvious and some not so easily called out - and create her own musical persona. In the title's parlance, she's not plowing any new ground here, but her efforts bring rewards to those who cultivate and recognize the honest, heartfelt work involved.
CDs by Julie Lee
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