Jesse Dollimont & The Ospreys – I’ll Fly Away (Independent)
The daughter of two professional musicians, Jesse Dollimont was born in southern Alberta and raised in a house that was awash with the music of Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, The Byrds and Neil Young. I don’t suppose that we can be surprised that, with those genes and early influences, Dollimont would find herself drawn to a career in music, especially those genres with foundations in roots, folk and country styles. After performing with a host of Edmonton groups she formed The Ospreys with Keith Rempel (bass and vocals), Darrek Anderson (steel guitar), Brennan Cameron (mandolin, keyboards and vocals) Michelle Sabourin (fiddle and vocals) and Matt Greir (drums), and “I’ll Fly Away” is their debut album.
They describe themselves as “a little bit country, a little bit bluegrass, and once in a while just a little bit rock and roll” and they’re spot on. Dollimont possesses a fine, pure voice and writes songs that connect directly to the human condition. They begin with “Better Man”, and the interaction between Dollimont and Anderson is a joy to hear, as vocals and steel guitar entwine like melancholy lovers. It’s followed by “Straight & True”, an unfussy, country-folk ballad, with delicate strings adding nuance and auditory depth. “Broken Things” is upbeat and bright, without ever shaking off an aura of sadness, and “Postcards” again brings voice and steel guitar together, and beautiful sorrow and a certain yielding regret is the happy result.