Thursday, September 17, 2015

Phoenix J

Phoenix J is an English singer / composer who has toured all over the world and has had a wonderful reception.  She once sang and toured with a band called Greenhaus and here is one reaction to it:

Greenhaus, who managed to enlighten me already with their live performances last year, have done it again this year to brighten up the late Fall with a beam of sunshine, similar to Sigur Ros, who managed to do this just two months earlier. (Electric Diary - Germany)

The thing that strikes me most about Phoenix J's performance at Cat's Art MusikCircus is the difference between her original songs and her covers.  She likes to do her jazzy-style version of cover songs but I think it's the entertainer in her telling her to bring these to you.  That isn't a criticism as she knows her job and she has been doing it for quite some time.

At one time, Phoenix J was putting together a girl band called JUNKK and she is a smart lady so I imagine she knows this is American slang for one's, erm, gentleman's area.  The play on that fact by a girl band could be most amusing as part of the comedy would be seeing people who think the girls don't get it.

Phoenix knows a lot about entertaining as she was also touring with a band called Greenhouse and I believe they were playing around Europe.  I'm not familiar with the band and I'm sure they were better-known in England and on continental Europe.

Entertaining is one thing but originals are in a different world and you can tell it very much with the depth of Phoenix J's original songs.  You know at every moment in the song that it comes from her heart, the story comes from her life, and this is a real thing.  Covers can be pretty, fun, entertaining, all kinds of nice things but they can't be what an original can bring and Phoenix does it beautifully.

To my taste, Phoenix would have to do no covers ever as her originals are excellent.  She takes more chances, uses more elaborate chords and changes, and does all the things that shows the engagement of her soul in what it becomes.  If you ever have to find the real Phoenix, ask her to sing a cover song and then ask her to sing one of her originals.  You'll know.

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