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Guitarist Turner branches out

By inner

Caboose Music: 2001

This review first appeared in the January 19, 2002 edition of the American Reporter.

Jennifer Turner briefly visited pop culture fame when she was the lead (and only) guitarist on Natalie Merchant's first solo album, "Tigerlily." Female lead guitarists are still a rarity; even more rare are guitarists with the kind of chops that Turner brought to Merchant's music.

But Turner left Merchant's band after the Tigerlily tour, and started her own band, Furslide, which released one album, "Adventure," in 1998, before Turner left that band as well.

So now Turner has another band, inner, and her own record label, Caboose Music. Which means lousy distribution – Inner's debut release, "lovetheonlyway," isn't even carried by, which carries just about everything.

As much Turner's loss at not being able to sell as many CDs as she'd probably like, the loss is also ours – for those who don't get to hear "lovetheonlyway" are missing out on some outstanding music.

Somewhere between folk and alternative, the music of inner is alternatingly edgy and warm, and consistently introspective and thoughtful while not getting too esoteric. Not many releases combine the qualities of being worth your full attention and serving as great party music, but "lovetheonlyway" pulls it off.

Turner isn't as strong a singer as she is a guitarist, but she does have a nice singing voice, one that blends well nicely with her songs and arrangements.

If the corporate music world can't find a way to sign, record and promote bands like inner, then it deserves to be supplanted by the Internet.