Jenny Biddle – Hero In Me (Independent)
From Melbourne, Australia, Jenny Biddle is an award-winning singer-songwriter, with roots in her local busking scene. In fact, she’s an award-winning busker, and has been the holder of Melbourne’s Best Busker crown since 2010 and has won the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival Busking Championship. Obviously happy plying her trade on the streets (that sounds wrong – but you know what I mean), it’s perhaps surprising that her latest long-player “Hero In Me” is quite so polished (there are two other studio albums available, 2009’s “Chest Of Drawers” and 2012’s “Little Treasures” – both of which are highly rated). Admittedly she works with talented people. Her producer on “Hero In Me” is Thirsty Merc’s former guitarist, Sean Carey, and her current band features Dave Kleynjans (Knieval, Groundswell) on drums and bassist Dave Rogers (Klinger) though neither appear on this particular album.
Listening to “Hero In Me” it’s understandable how Biddle attracts such quality collaborators, and she makes a wonderful first impression with the title track. She sings in her own voice and is instantly recognizable as an Australian singer, but Jason Walker’s keening pedal steels adds melancholy and the song brings to mind ‘70s Richard Thompson. “Pockets” and “Somebody to Love” rock in a bluesy roadhouse sort of way, and on “Winter Sun” she slows down her band and lets the song’s emotional pull speak for itself.