Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter
The title track of Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter's debut CD is about falling in love. We know, because Sykes said so in an interview. We never would have guessed it otherwise. "Reckless Burning," like almost all the other songs on the album of the same name, is earthy and lugubrious, with languid guitar-playing so sonically stretched out, you think it will break in half. But that's the beauty of this band -- primarily a vehicle for the husband-and-wife team of Sykes and ex-Whiskeytown guitarist Phil Wandscher. Sykes's lyrics take in all corners of the emotional landscape in a most unemotional manner. Her voice is smoky, haunting, sultry, and dispassionate -- perfect for the sparse, almost soporific musical arrangements. If jazz chanteuse Julie London's singing of "Cry Me a River" is ever reworked as an Americana offering, it would fit in nicely with this band's repertoire.