The Balance

Heather Jinmaku

Musiphysical Records, 2005

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


I cheerily admit to a bias here, right off the bat.

See, I know Heather Jinmaku. Not well, but I do know her; I first saw her sing at Pagan Spirit Gathering 2003 as a beautiful but nervous young woman with a guitar. She sang at the morning meeting and absolutely blew my socks off -- a neat trick, since I wasn't wearing socks. She had a magnificent, rich, expressive voice that could alternately growl like a summer storm and soar like a phoenix. When you add in the fact that she is one of the sweetest people I know, it would be hard for me to say bad things about her music.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

When I went back to PSG this summer and realized she had a CD out, finally, I wheedled myself into a review copy. And guess what? I don't have to say anything bad, thereby saving myself from a moral dilemma. The Balance, Jinmaku's debut CD, is a truly magnificent, powerful and brilliant piece of work.

Nominally, Jinmaku is a pagan folk artist. However, she has a tendency to veer into blues and rock, and she handles those musical forms with equal aplomb and grace. The production on the CD is elegant, spare, and wonderful, and the musicianship is excellent. (Special kudos to Mark Witters' guitar on some of the bluesier numbers, most notably "Ding, Dong, The Witch Ain't Dead". Dude can smoke.)

There isn't a bad track on The Balance, but special note should be given to the eerily beautiful "One Night," the poignant "Daedalus," the title track, "Heartfelt," "Back To Beltane," the aforementioned "Ding, Dong, The Witch Ain't Dead" (one of the funniest songs it's been my privilege to hear in a very long time), and the soaring "Merry Meet," the CD's close. I remember falling asleep in my tent at PSG to Heather singing "Merry Meet" from the stage across the road, and it was magnificent.

Heather Jinmaku is a wonder -- a gentle, light-filled soul who can also kick out the jams like nobody's business. The Balance is a great, great debut, and I look forward to more from her.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2005 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Musiphysical Records, and is used for informational purposes only.