So Lonesome I Could Fly

A friend loaned me this Marti Jones CD, My Tidy Dolly Dream, a while back. And while it’s not something I’d typically seek out, there’s something about it the keeps drawing me back. As is my habit, this isn’t a review, but rather a bulleted list of thoughts and reactions.

  • Jones is married to Don Dixon, producer of power pop groups (that typically have a certain, jangly, Southern gothic bent) like R.E.M., Guadalcanal Diary and The Smithereens.
  • Overall, this record reminds me a lot of Carolyn Arends’ Travelers. Jones (and Dixon, who co-wrote and produced much of the album) has obviously absorbed a lot of the Beatles and Byrds albums. These influences, paired with acoustic instrumentation, bring to mind Sam Phillips, another chick singer who came of age in the eighties and married a big-named producer.
  • It sounds like Jones entered the studio with a bare-bones band, recorded basic tracks, then allowed Dixon to overdub one really cool instrument later. Sometimes it’s a weird tape-affected keyboard, sometimes it’s just layers of background vocals. In any case, it feels almost live and not overdone.
  • I’m always  leery of people like Jones who made albums in the 80s and have since tried to fleece their flock. In her and The Smithereens cases, however, they don’t seem to have forsaken pop hooks along the way. (Does anyone remember God Save the Smithereens??! What a great record. I do wish, however, that the band would return to recording original material.)
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