Valley Of The Bones
Jane Kramer releases her third full-length album Valley of the Bones on March 1st of this year. This is an album of original songs that evolve out of the heart. They make sense out of the things that wear you down and rip you heart. They are also about reconciliation and putting the heart back together. The heart is held strong with —– vocals and mastered melodies. These songs help set your spirit free to roam reminding us that the journey doesn’t end in the Valley Of The Bones.
“You said Janey, we’re all just wearing skin till we’re Roots and waves and wings again. When you realize you don’t own anything, the things you loose hurt less. It’s our grieving bits, your busted parts, the potholes in your oil stained heart and how you wear them is how you will be known. They’re all we’re wearing in the Valley Of The Bones.”
Jane Kramer is the lead vocalist and created the beautiful melodies with her regular picking partners. Chris Rosser provides acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, harmonium, octave mandolin, and harmony vocals. Eliot Wadopian plays upright bass, River Guerguerian on drumset and percussion, Billy Cardine plays dobro, Allison Hall provides harmony vocals, Franklin Keel plays cello, and Nicky Sanders (of the Steep Canyon Rangers) plays fiddle on this ten song album. The album has a full layered sound. It’s pleasing to the ear.
Valley Of The Bones is and album born from the dark and vulnerable truth we ultimately all experience in some form. It’s relatable and puts into words what most people shut away, but shining light on these things is exactly what we need to move forward. “Macon County” is about divorce and what is feels like to a small town girl finally gaining the courage to rise above small town expectations. “Child” is a powerful piano and bowed bass and cello song about burying your infant, unnamed child. “Two Broke Kids” speaks to love unraveling in a marriage.
There are also songs of the deepest love. “Saint Carrie of the Storms” honors the “crazy families sweet crazy glue” that holds everything together. “I’ll See Your Crazy and Raise You Mine” chronicles 23 years of dysfunctional marital bliss. “Wedding Vows” closes the album and opens with a lovely cello and acoustic guitar and the poetic realization that “finding you means I was never lost”.
Visiting the heart deep and hard the way these songs do will yield revaluation and truth. “Hymn” addresses having faith without the fanfare and ceremony that usually accompanies traditional faith. “Waffle House Song” is a dobro driven fun look at letting go of extra baggage. “Singin’s Enough” tells of life on the road playing your dues in the dive-bars and less than desirable venues for someone opening themselves up on stage and dreaming of the simpler times when singing back home. “Valley of the Bones” is a coming to terms with the ebbs and flow of life and the realization that possessions hold no value.
Valley Of The Bones is a release of all those things that burrow. It’ll leave you light enough to dance. That’s a good thing, these songs are kick-up your heels good. These are old timey string band tunes with a modern feel, songs that will appeal to traditionalists and Americana fans alike. Turn it up!
- Viola Krouse