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Reviewed by Chris Dent

Jenny Mitchell: The Old Oak

Reviewed by Chris Dent

Jenny Mitchell: The Old Oak

Hard to believe that still only 16, Jenny Mitchell‘s fine album exhibits a confidence, surety and lyrical maturity of someone much older. She hails from Gore so chances are it may well reflect a childhood spent writing and playing on the South Island country music circuit. Her voice already has a great depth, strength and breadth of character to it, her singing techniques subtle and executed with perfect control so she can easily put feeling into each line without overdoing things.

In This Guitar she gets to sing with her classic country-sounding dad Ron Mitchell in a duet about his guitar being passed onto her, but a few songs later the opening of   shows us that she is not limited to the contemporary country genre, it’s the just the one she’s chosen here. Produced by John Egenes and recorded at Albany Street Studios in Dunedin by Danny Buchanan, further engineering was later done by Graeme Woller, Arnie van Bussel, Rob Galley and Egenes in a variety of studios all around the country, before mastering up in Auckland by Mike McCarthy at Manuka Studios. Such attention to detail is evident. There are lots of instruments involved too; guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, slide guitar, dobro and so on all evident, but Mitchell’s gentle/strong voice is always given priority. Musicians including Marcel Rodeka on drums, Egenes, Jeff Rea and James Davey on guitar, Craig Reeves and John Dodd on bass give each track flurries of colour that are not invasive at all. One can readily imagine that these quality players all agree Jenny Mitchell is a singer / songwriter with a great album and huge future.