Conch Town Music
Juliana MacDowell releases Leaving Home on Conch Town Music and it’s as fresh as spring itself. This, her second studio album, explores familiar themes and presents them in a beautiful light. Released on friday the thirteenth in the middle of a pandemic, touring to promote the album is put on hold. But here’s the thing, these are the songs we need to hear. Especially now.
Juliana MacDowell is no stranger to heartache and her love of music helped Juliana pick herself up from quite a few setbacks. One can say listening to her music can help you back up too, she knows the way. Juliana states, “My heart has known some very dark moments, but there is always light to counter the dark. We all have those times when balance is off and we endure more dark days than light ones.” This album shines a light.
Somewhat of a late bloomer, Juliana MacDowell may have taken a while to get here, but connecting with people through music brings joy. Ego isn’t something she practices. She is kind and encouraging and until recently, self doubting. There is no question however, Juliana has a beautiful tone in her voice, and an empowering message in her lyrics.
There is joy in the album Leaving Home. There are love songs like the snappy “I like”, the percussive “Turn It Back Around”, or “Best Friend” professing I love you till the end. “Marry You” is a snappy fiddle-tune that professes a lasting love declaration. As does “What More Can I Say” with it’s purely country feel. “Two Kinds Of People” is a lovely two-step about reaping what you sow. And, “All Those Things” with its handclaps and lively fiddle will get you dancing.
The somber power ballad “Midnight Hour” will pull at your heartstrings while lifting you up. The electric guitar solo rising above the predominantly keyboard and violin is simply stunning. The bluesy “Cruel Woman” is beautifully bad reminiscent of Albert King. The title song “Leaving Home” has the driving feel of the road beneath your feet. It’s pure rock and roll. All of the songs on Leaving Home are refreshingly different in their presentation yet are cohesive in theme. The contributors on the album are some of the best in the industry with collaborations with a mixed bag of genres such as those with Elton John, Julian Lennon, The Mavericks, Playing for Change project, and Primal Scream among others.
Leaving Home is produced and engineered by Ian Shaw, (who also provides percussion, hand claps, and sound FX). Juliana herself provides lead and backing vocals as well as piano. Matt Backer provides Electric, acoustic, and bass guitar as well as mandolin. Rick Fusco plays acoustic guitar. Jason Hann, Jim Kimberley, and Joey Marchiano added drums and percussion. Freebo, Andy Carr, and Claire Finley play Bass. Ericson Holt plays keyboard. Julian Simmons plays Hamond organ, Alisa Walker plays fiddle, Melvin Duffy plays pedal steel, and Claire Finley and Mary Cassidy provide backing vocals. It takes a village. https://www.julianamacdowellmusic.com
The songs on Leaving Home might just be what you’re looking for while temporarily homebound. I know it makes my steps a bit lighter and my smile a little wider. They give hope, as she states in the song “In The Dark”,
When the nights are long and lonely,
Tortured thoughts they plague your soul.
Keep the faith until the dawn’s light, the dawn’s light.
a new day’s promise will unfold
a new day’s promise will unfold.
You’ve read this far. Thank you! I hope you take this opportunity to listen to some new music. I recommend Leaving Home by Juliana MacDowell. It’ll leave you feeling good.