Known for her richly resonant vocals and evocative songwriting style, JR Rhodes steps back into the spotlight with Elixir – Vol. 1, a re-mastered collection of her most memorable tunes.
The release of this best-of collection is part of this Seattle-based singer/songwriter’s return to active music-making after a period of study and reflection. Drawn from three studio albums recorded between 1998 and 2003, Elixir – Vol. 1’s songs combine elements of jazz, folk and pop to frame lyrics that are both emotionally revealing and gracefully poetic. Echoes of everyone from Billie Holiday and Annie Lennox to the Beatles and Motown can be heard in these tracks, reflecting Rhodes’ eclectic sensibility. Such outstanding players as bassist Brad Houser (Edie Brickell and New Bohemians), Matt Chamberlain (Peter Gabriel, Tori Amos), violinist Eyvind Kang (Bill Frisell, Beck), percussionist Mike Dillon (Ani DiFranco) and in-demand guitarist Leif Totusek add to the adventurous spirit of these tracks.
Elixir – Vol. 1 will be available both as a Limited Collector’s CD (signed by Rhodes) and in digital download form exclusively at www.jrrecordingco.com, Rhodes’ new website.
In addition, Rhodes is working on her first recordings in a decade. “The inspiration behind this recording project is liberty,” she says. “Each song explores what liberty means and the twists and turns needed to go through to find it. It’s an ongoing journey that I’m working to capture in the music.”
Rhodes’ creative explorations have taken her in new directions over the past year. She studied Persian music and poetry with vocalist/composer Jessika Kenney through the Cornish College of the Arts and continues her independent studies. This in turn encouraged her to learn and perform traditional African American spirituals, adding further depth to her own music.
JR Rhodes is back with a deeply personal, genre-spanning sound and a message of spiritual unity and healing. There’s more to come from this unique artist in the months ahead.