Jen Cass | Skies Burning Red

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Dar Williams John Jennings Mary Chapin Carpenter

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United States - Michigan

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Country: Country Folk Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Skies Burning Red

by Jen Cass

Heart-breaking, eye-opening, awe-inspiring country/folk from an artist who's been called "Mary Chapin Carpenter with a Dar Williams chaser".
Genre: Country: Country Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Main Attraction
3:56 $0.99
2. A Kind Of Compromise
5:12 $0.99
3. Pirate
4:51 $0.99
4. Trouble
5:00 $0.99
5. Vagabond Heart
4:49 $0.99
6. The Boy Who Would Be Man
4:47 $0.99
7. Between Love
3:43 $0.99
8. The Fall
3:59 $0.99
9. Madeleine
3:40 $0.99
10. Even Angels
5:00 $0.99
11. Straight White Line
4:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Born to unusually hip parents in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, singer-songwriter Jen Cass was raised on a healthy mix of live music, homegrown vegetables, spontaneous dancing, black licorice and Motown. When asked about her childhood Jen muses, "I remember my mom doing pirouettes around the living room with Joan Baez and Simon & Garfunkel blasting in the background. Then dad would pull out his guitar and we'd all sing Kris Kristofferson songs. "My sister and I weren't allowed to watch TV, so we sang, danced and read every book we could get our hands on. By the age of five, I was a miniature troubadour in bad seventies clothing, quoting Jack London and belting out Jim Croce tunes. I love my parents for that."

While her fashion sense has evolved over time, Jen has always remained true to her roots, writing beautifully crafted songs that draw comparisons to songwriting legends Bob Dylan, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Joni Mitchell, and Lucinda Williams, as well as playwright Eugene O'Neill. In the words of Suzanne Glass of, "Cass' songs are lyrical gems. She weaves fables with her words that would make Aesop jealous."

In November 1996, Jen released her first CD, Brave Enough To Say, and quickly sold over 2000 copies. Jen recorded Brave Enough To Say with the help of the world famous Russian surf-rock band Red Elvises. "We mixed contemporary folk, new country, oatmeal raisin cookies and extreme sleep deprivation to create a totally unique sound," quips Jen. Rick Nelson of the Tacoma News Tribune agrees, calling Brave Enough To Say an "excellent debut" and Jen a "gifted storyteller with a great voice." Agenda's Alan Goldsmith raves, "Jen Cass has a gift for using her voice to capture pictures of broken American souls, and she paints these heartbreaking snapshots of lives gone wrong like nobody else."

Since the release of Brave Enough To Say, Jen has played hundreds of gigs throughout the country, impressing fans and critics alike with her powerful performances. In addition to shows at The Bluebird Café (Nashville), The Ark (Ann Arbor, MI), Arlene Grocery (NYC), Northwest Folklife and Bumbershoot (Seattle), NXNW (Portland), Great Blue Heron Festival (Sherman, NY), Hamtramck Blowout, The Music Menu and The Magic Bag (Detroit), and Uncommon Ground (Chicago), Jen was a proud member of the first national Indiegrrl tour. Over time, Jen's live shows have become increasingly popular, causing one critic to lament, "I attempted to pop into the Jen Cass show last month, but by ten o'clock the club was jammed to the roof and even standing room was not an option."

After years of tireless touring, Jen caught the attention of producer John Jennings, who has co-produced eight albums and four #1 singles by Mary Chapin Carpenter, as well as discs by John Gorka, Janis Ian, Beausoleil, and many others; played on recordings by the Indigo Girls, George Jones, Tony Rice, and Iris DeMent; and garnered five Grammy Awards (13 nominations) and five CMA Awards (19 nominations). Recorded by Bob Dawson (Mary Chapin Carpenter, Danny Gatton, Dave Matthews Band, John McCutcheon, Cheryl Wheeler) and featuring several members of Mary Chapin Carpenter's band, Skies Burning Red is already receiving national attention. In the words of Doug Mackey, "Skies Burning Red surges with the pain of heartbreak, brims with 'I told you so's sung with precious little solace, arcs with the flight of angels, and follows inexorably the steady amble of time along Main Street, through bedrooms, across fields and to the shore. We are within earshot of a major new talent!"



to write a review

Michael Ethen

Well Worth The Wait!
In "Skies Burning Red" Jen Cass has delivered a beautiful CD and a tremendous follow-up to her '96 debut. Jen is the superlative storyteller of our time. She has written some very bold melodies (see "Trouble") and the instrumentation is tasty, from a vocal/piano duet to well-balanced ensemble work. Each song has its own enticing personality so the CD stays fresh throughout. I am really excited about this album! Get it, enjoy it, and spread the word - Jen Cass is a fantastic artist.


Start Listening Before Everyone Else Finds Out!
When I describe her, I call her a feminist folk-rock singer/songwriter with a wonderful country twang. I don't know if it really captures her... but she has a great voice, writes excellent music and some of the best lyrics out there. Highly recommend you give her a listen.

Alexander Bledsoe

Skies Above, Ground Below - Love & Honesty in Skies Burning Red
Skies Burning Red is a walk down the sidewalks of everyone's neighborhood, rich in specifics but amenable to universals. From its first flight to its closing amble, the sincerity and craftsmanship opens the doors and windows to these common lives, showing us how uncommon they can be. And in the process, they also show us how uncommon Jen Cass already is.

Doug Mackey

Skies Burning Red - Artist Burning Bright!
Skies Burning Red surges with the pain of heartbreak, brims with “I told you sos”sung with precious little solace, arcs with the flight of angels, and follows inexorably the steady amble of time along Main Street, through bedrooms, across fields and to the shore. The imagery is vivid, and the emotions palpable, but it is the commonality of experience and the rarity of its translation that bond the listener to Jen Cass and her music. It is not possible to listen to Jen Cass' composed yet intimate voice without spotting yourself among the characters that populate her songs. And it is not impossible that upon only one enchanted listen you might even have the good fortune to find yourself among her lovers.

The Guitar Man

Some Good Songs sang by a Good Singer.,
Some really good music here. Superb Vocals. You will enjoy this CD.


an incredible CD. Word.
This is Jenn's sophomore effort after a 7 year hiatus(?!) but she really delivers. Incredible story-telling with changing POVs. Short stories put in a song about life and love gone wrong. She's able to achieve more in 4 verses than some lame novelists killing 200 pages. Fresh even daring melodies (like in Trouble).
Produced perfectly by John Jennings. 'nuff said.