• Jonathan Widran

AJ JANSEN, Bourbon & Roses

Five releases into her extraordinary career, New England based indie singer-songwriter AJ Jansen gives us a bold, brash and crazy-infectious reminder on “This Ain’t Dixie” that she may not be a native Southerner a la Carrie, Miranda, Maren and Kelsea - but she’s still making rockin’, soul stirring rock-edged country with the best of them.

On that bold centerpiece of her powerhouse new EP Bourbon & Roses, the multi-talented performer – a two time Connecticut Country Music Association (CCMA) winner and New England Music Award nominee – lets us know her “southern sisters love me” and her “outlaw brothers know me.” Yet it’s not just Jansen’s strong, assured vocals and confidence that set her apart.

She’s also a witty heartfelt storyteller with a penchant for clever turns of phrase, whether she’s storming hopefully into a dangerous affair with a thus far indifferent bartender (“Bourbon & Roses”), weaving the lonely, longing tale of “A Trucker’s Wife” or somehow equating rock and roll, Jesus and the Eagles as the three things that will endure throughout time (or at least her life) on the playful yet pointed, autobiographical “Cut Me Like A Country Song.”

Likewise compelling is the EP’s other burning singalong rocker, “Wild Wild West,” on which she attributes her own survival and conquering of obstacles to the enduring spirit of America. Here's hoping she’ll set a trend and the bigwigs who run Nashville industry start mining the vast, untapped country music riches of the Northeast.  

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