Jennifer Kimball

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Jennifer Kimball
Birth name Jennifer Kimball
Genres Folk rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 1980s–present
Labels MCA Records, Elektra, Green Linnet, Epoisse Records, Philips Records, Imaginary Road
Associated acts The Story
Website [1]

Jennifer Kimball is a vocalist and songwriter who is part of the folk duo The Story.[1] She is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and has released two albums Veering from the Wave and Oh Hear Us.

Beginnings: The story about The Story[edit]

Jennifer Kimball and Amherst College friend Jonatha Brooke began playing music together in the 1980s. They performed regularly during their college years.[2] Their folk songs were marked by "witty wordplay and sumptuous pop harmonies," according to one music critic.[3] Critics noted a resemblance between their music and earlier artists such as Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon in terms of excellent musicianship, singing, and writing.[4][5] Kimball graduated from Amherst in 1986.[6]

They called themselves The Story. One critic wrote "Jennifer Kimball played the Art Garfunkel role in The Story" who contributed "high ethereal harmonies."[7] In 1989, the duo played the coffeehouse folk circuit and radio which exemplified the "folk-rock singer-songwriter aesthetic," according to one account.[2] Kimball and Brooke "burst to fame" with this combination.[8] They created a demo called Over Oceans and were promptly signed to the independent label Green Linnet which, in 1991, issued the duo's debut full-length album Grace in Gravity. Later Elektra Records signed The Story and re-issued their debut.

Their second album, The Angel in the House, was released in 1993.[9] One critic raved about the "exquisite arrangements and tricky, pitch-perfect harmonies by Ms. Brooke and her vocal partner, Jennifer Kimball," and added they "are the last word in elegant folk-pop refinement."[9] The album featured "moody jazz and Brazilian-flavored arrangements" and "the duo's harmonies, which usually begin in a comfortably folkish vein, frequently stray into precise chromatic dissonance" and had a "sophisticated international flavor."[9] Their song Over Oceans was used as background for dance choreographer Kristen Caputo.[10] The songs contemplate a woman's conflicting desires for love and achievement and the need to shake off the romantic myth of a male rescuer.[5]

Another music critic noticed the contrast between the lighter patter between songs and the heavier songs themselves: there was "levity" between heavy songs about "God, church, death, female oppression, self-suppression, mothers and daughters."[11] Their songs adroitly avoided "heavy-handedness" with a certain "winning buoyancy of tune and/or spirit" with "sophisticated harmonic changes whose intriguing hooks come at you cockeyed and sideways more often than they swoop down from the heavens."[11] The duo were compared with artists such as Suzanne Vega and Indigo Girls.[12] Another reviewer gave the duo mixed reviews: "intriguingly distorted harmonies and interesting turns of phrase" but some "attempts at cleverness overreached" and there was "a painfully obvious unrecorded song about dieting and a silly, albeit self-consciously so, stab at voguing a la Madonna."[12] Another wrote their "music can alternate between heart-rending poetry and infectious flights of fancy." [13]

Flying Solo[edit]

In 1994, Kimball and Brooke dissolved their musical partnership.

Kimball performed as a singer-songwriter in various venues and continued to write music.

In 1998, Kimball released the album Veering from the Wave. A Washington Post critic applauded the singing as "handsome" and the songwriting as excellent.[3] In 1999, Kimball opened for folk artists such as Tom Rush.[14] In 2000, she was a featured performer at New Haven's Eli Whitney Folk Festival.[15] Her tune Meet Me in the Twilight has been played on the radio, including San Francisco station KPFA.[16] She's recorded with such artists as Wayfaring Strangers, Session Americana, and Tony Trischka.[8][17] Her music has been described by a critic as "quirky and oh-so-urban suburban" and a "sultry roots singer" with the "aching breath of a mezzo."[8]

Kimball released her CD Oh Hear Us in 2006. One critic wrote "her songs still ripple with eccentric surprise, sudden twists, and "A-ha!" moments."[8]

In 2007 she was a part-time horticulturalist and studied landscape design at Harvard.[1] She commented about her hobby: "It's a lovely way to keep the head 'free' while working outside and dreaming up songs, designs, novels." She sang and played at Boston's Lizard Lounge with musicians including guitarist Duke Levine, lap steel player Kevin Barry, drummer Bill Beard, bassist Dick Gates, and guest artists including Dennis Brennan, Kris Delmhorst, Rose Polenzani, Anne Heaton, and Rose Cousins.[1]

In 2008, Kimball performed with Boston artists such as Rose Polenzani and Rose Cousins. A critic described them as "a veritable supergroup of some of the finest local singer-songwriters."[18]

Kimball has performed to raise money for charitable organizations such as Massachusetts Families in Need.[19] She also supports the cause of helping women's shelters.[20] She is a mother and lives in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

Discography[edit]

Jennifer Kimball
Album Year Label Notes References
Grace in Gravity 1991 part of The Story [2]
Angel in the House 1993 Elektra part of The Story [2]
Veering from the Wave 1998 Philips; Imaginary Road solo debut album [16]
Oh Hear Us 2006 Epoisse Records

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Tristram Lozaw (November 8, 2007). "Jennifer Kimball". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d Derk Richardson (March 29, 2001). "A Label Of Her Own -- Jonatha Brooke takes back her music with Steady Pull". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  3. ^ a b Geoffrey Himes (November 7, 1997). "JONATHA BROOKE "10 Cent Wings" Refuge/MCA; CATIE CURTIS "Catie Curtis" Guardian". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  4. ^ Tracy Collins (January 2, 2000). "On the Arts: They are chicks, hear them roar as a musical influence". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  5. ^ a b STEPHEN HOLDEN (September 24, 1993). "Critic's Notebook; Adult Sounds From (Way) Off the Charts". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  6. ^ "Who has attended Amherst College?". Amherst College website. 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2009-11-11. "Musicians Jonatha Brooke Mallet 1985 and Jennifer Kimball 1986, both formerly of the Sabrinas and The Story." 
  7. ^ Geoffrey Himes (September 4, 1998). "JENNIFER KIMBALL: "Veering From the Wave"; Imaginary Road". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  8. ^ a b c d SCOTT ALARIK (May 4, 2006). The Boston Globe http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-7955551.html. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ a b c STEPHEN HOLDEN (July 25, 1993). "RECORDINGS VIEW; Arrangements And Harmonies For a Folk Cuisine". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  10. ^ JACK ANDERSON (June 18, 1992). "Review/Dance; An Old Friendship Fraying". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  11. ^ a b Willman, Chris (October 26, 1993). "POP MUSIC REVIEWS - Vocal Precision From the Story". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  12. ^ a b JEAN ROSENBLUTH (June 27, 1992). "Pop Reviews - Uneven Set by Pair of Boston Singers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  13. ^ Robert Sherman (March 21, 1993). "MUSIC; Manhattan Quartet in Season Finale". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  14. ^ Robert Sherman (January 10, 1999). "MUSIC; Trying Out for Conductor". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  15. ^ MELINDA TUHUS (September 10, 2000). "MUSIC; Where 60's Values Still Hold Sway". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  16. ^ a b Derk Richardson (1 March 2001). "The Hear and Now: KPFA Playlist". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  17. ^ Scott Alarik (2003-11-14). "Wayfaring Strangers find common ground". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  18. ^ "Critics' picks - music -- FOLK, WORLD & COUNTRY -- JENNIFER KIMBALL, ROSE POLENZANI, ROSE COUSINS". The Boston Globe. December 4, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  19. ^ Jonathan Perry (January 9, 2009). "His roots are deep in social issues". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  20. ^ Steve Morse (09/12/99). "At theaters and arenas, the season is busier than ever for pop". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 

External links[edit]