Jody Kessler: No Solid Ground

What: CD release party
When: Saturday, September 16, 2000
Where: Foundation of Light
391 Turkey Hill Road
Ithaca, NY
How Much: $5 / $4 FOL members

Jody Kessler, from Did you know that the Foundation of Light is setting up a series of folk music concerts this fall? The first will be a CD release party for Jody Kessler's newest recording, No Solid Ground, on her independent label "In the Moment Productions." The album was recorded locally at Electric Wilburland Studio in Newfield, NY, and features an all-star lineup of local talent: Rich DePaolo on bass, Bill King on drums, Peter Dodge on keyboards, and Brian Earle on clarinet. All this, together with Annie and Marie Burns joining her on background vocals, builds a truly rich sound.

The CD may be titled No Solid Ground, but to my ears it seems solidly rooted in Ithaca. It's clear that this community has nurtured Jody Kessler's performance and song writing. There's sensitivity, humor, and a deep awareness of a broad variety of human needs. Whether she's singing about healing spirit, body, or relationship her songs project a fierce faith that profound healing is possible. Jody has taken the pain of breast cancer, homophobia, broken relationships, and the uncertainties of a creative life and, by looking closely -with acceptance- she transforms them into songs which are shining jewels of melody and poetry.

But the recording doesn't stop at celebrating human diversity. There's musical diversity here as well. The sparse musical cries of How Did We Fall? are followed by touches of reggae in the title song, No Solid Ground. The growling, bluesy folk of Hocus Pocus (with great clarinet work by Brian Earle) is followed by the pure clarity of voice and guitar in Water Over Rock. There's something here which is reminiscent of early Joni Mitchell. Jody's skill in weaving poetic story with just the right musical line surely puts her in company with the best. Her own heart and hope are lifting her into a place all her own. You'll be glad to listen her newest recording, over and over, and be lifted up with her.

This CD release party is certain to be a joyful celebration of one of Ithaca's great talents. There will be another folk concert on Friday, October 6th, featuring Boston singer songwriter Ben Tousley. For information on this and other events, call the Foundation of Light at 273-9550.

(Pamela Goddard)

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