Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Music News

Homeland Heart

Netsena CD release party with Jasper at St:lō Resource Centre May 12

Released by Beth Ward. Jane Harbury Publicity


ake You With Me may be the debut album from singer/songwriter Jasmine Netsena, but the resident of Fort Nelson, BC, is far from a musical novice. Rather than rushing into a first record, she chose to steadily sharpen her vocal, compositional and performance skills.


In recent years, she has charmed audiences in Nashville, Texas, New York City, and across Canada, before finally deciding to commit her songs to disc.

That did take a little push, Jasmine laughingly concedes. "All my musical mentors here in the North finally told me, 'yes, you're ready. Take the plunge and go for it.'"

We can be glad she did. All Netsena's patience and hard work have paid off with a truly compelling album, one that signals the arrival of a major young talent. This is a record written and recorded in the Great White North, but it's stylistic heart resides in the American South. Netsena grew up surrounded by the sounds of country, folk and blues, and she seamlessly incorporates these styles into her own music. The stories in these evocative songs, though, are deeply personal and strongly rooted in her homeland.

The ever-patient Netsena wasn't about to make the record in haste. She travelled to Whitehorse for two extended sessions in late 2013 with noted producer Bob Hamilton. His work with acclaimed singer/songwriters Kim Beggs and Indio Saravanja had caught Jasmine's ear, so the pair settled into Hamilton's Old Crow Recording studio, along with an A-list cast of local players that included Marie Gogo, Annie Avery, Leela Gilday, Robert Bergman, Ed White and Katie Avery.

Together, they've created an album with a full rich sound and top-notch production values. "I wanted to make a record that could get on the radio," Jasmine explains. "That is how I first heard artists like Kim and Indio. Radio is a powerful tool."

The nine original songs on the record are those Jasmine considered the strongest compositions from her last eight years of writing. Lyrically, they cover a wide swath of territory. The poignant and personal title track employs organ and backing vocals to add emotional resonance to the story of a mother forced to leave her children. "A writer friend of mine suggested naming the album after the song most personal to me, and that was 'Take You With Me,'" Netsena explains. Equally autobiographical is "Dreamed Of You," a song in which such lines as "I turned 23 in Harlem, now I'm 24 in the NWT" are punctuated by swirling organ and jangling guitar.

Pedal steel and harmony vocals from Gogo give depth to "Rearview," dobro is prominent on the sparse ballad "Lie To Myself," while "Sweet Companion" shows Jasmine can be equally convincing on a slow blues number. Adding levity to the textures of the album is the up-tempo "Bad Cook," a tragic tale of culinary ineptitude.

Netsena's natural eclecticism is reflected in her choice of the two cover songs on the record. Written by Carlene Carter and Susanna Clark, the classic country-folk tune "Easy From Now On" is best known via Emmylou Harris' version. "Emmylou is definitely one of my favourite artists," Jasmine says, and she does the song (and Emmy) real justice. "Nothing In Rambling" is an old Mississippi blues tune co-written and made famous by the legendary Memphis Minnie, and the passion and purity in Jasmine's version brings Maria Muldaur to mind.

Music was a big part of Netsena's life growing up in B.C. "My First Nation heritage is Dene and Tahltan, and my grandmas would sing to me a lot, in their first language," she recalls. "Those were mostly drum-based songs. My mum is a huge music fan, and I grew up to a lot of country and folk music, from George Jones to Neil Young and Bob Dylan."

Along the way, Jasmine has become a valued member of the tight-knit roots music community in the North. She acknowledges such peers as Kim Barlow (a song they co-wrote, "Winter Fuel," is on the album), Indio Saravanja, and Kim Beggs as real mentors, noting "there is no way I could have made this first record alone. I was very honest about what I needed, and they all been so very open and helpful."

2014 is shaping up as a banner year for Jasmine Netsena, thanks to this vibrant and richly rewarding album. It is indeed one you will want to take with you.



Wed. May 7, 2014        Prince George, BC

Nancy Os @ 8:00PM

Tickets $5 at door

Fri. May 9, 2014        Prince George, BC

Cafe Voltaire @ 8:00PM

Admission by donation

Mon. May 12, 2014       Chilliwack, BC

Sto:lo Centre 7pm to 10pm


Wed. May 14, 2014       Vancouver, BC

Railway Club @ 7:30pm with Ann Vriend

Tickets $10 at door

Fri. May 16, 2014       Grindrod, BC

Riverfront Pub @9:00PM


Sat. May 17, 2014       Nelson, BC

Kootenay Co-op Red Ride Tour


Mon. May 19, 2014       Canmore, AB

Good Earth Cafe, No cover


Tues. May 20, 2014      Calgary, AB

Ironwood Stage with Cris Derksen, Kristi Lane Sinclaire & Iskwe


Thurs. May 22, 2014     High River, AB

Alta Vita Ristorante @ 8pm


Fri. May 23, 2014       Twin Butte, AB

Twin Butte General Store @ 8pm

Wed.  June 4, 2014      Weyburn, SK

Pump Jacks @ 9pm


Sat.  June 7, 2014      Winnipeg, MB

Promenade Cafe & Wine @ 8:30pm


Thurs.  June 12, 2014   Ottawa, ON

The Rainbow Bistro @ 8pm


Tues. June 24, 2014     Toronto, ON

Free Times Cafe


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