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Joanne Juskus Demo
Image © 2000 Joanne Juskus Music 

(18 November 2000) Joanne Juskus is making excellent progress towards her first solo album due for release early next year. Musical Discoveries received a self-titled eight track demo from the Washington, DC-based artist to review in October. Produced and co-written by Brad Allen, the recording highlights Joanne's heavenly vocal work compared by some to Annie Haslam and others to Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush. Yet others hear Sandy Denny at times. The demo recordings, made in Greenworld (McLean, VA), illustrate the range.

Light guitar- and keyboard-based arrangements compliment evocatively sung lead vocals in "Never Be The Same" and "Meet You There." We were especially reminded of Joni Mitchell's work in these tracks. A softly almost-spoken brief track entitled "Waters of March," the one track on the recording written by Antonio Carlos Jobim, warms up after a rather stark beginning and illustrates the clarity of the artist's voice.

"Breathing Underwater" and "New Religion" move into light rock and blues respectively. Joanne's voice is especially evocative in "New Religion" and the guitar arrangements add greatly to the overall sound. Joanne's emotional vocal delivery in "'Till I See You Again" reflects her artistic sensitivity while a thicker instrumental arrangement reveals another side of Brad Allen's production talent.

Especially noteworthy tracks on our demo are "I Am" and our favourite "Within Your Fire." Soaring and sensual vocals sung are effectively complimented by light keyboards and light guitar and percussion in the former, while progressive arrangements of the latter produce a very Renaissance-like sound and reflect the Annie Haslam side of Joanne's vocal style.

The epic "Within Your Fire" blends Indian sounds with modern rock and Joanne's soaring vocal lead. Dynamic keyboards and guitar solos reveal the artists' instrumental skills and extremely well-produced progressive arrangements. Joanne's voice is perfectly suited for progressive rock—we certainly hope that her debut album will feature more of it. Joanne is accompanied by Brad Allen (guitars, keys) and Joe Princiato (drums).

Our preview of the artist's demo recordings reveals a notable singer / songwriter with an extremely bright future. Also an established graphic artist, the stunning pre-production demo package was self-produced. Click here to access Joanne's mp3.com webspace where you can sample some of these tracks for yourself. We will anxiously await Joanne's debut release and can assure readers of an update once it is received at our headquarters. Worth a journey, these demos are indeed a very nice listen!

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