BVS REVIEWS: Bruce Von Stiers
A few times recently I have gotten music that was hard to describe. Once such instance is the album titled Bend I received a while back. The album is from Jennifer Vazquez. The music from this album ranges from country flavored to folk and rock. I have classified the album as folk rock but that doesn’t quite do it justice. Jennifer has so much variation in her songs that it is really hard to put her music into just one category.
Jennifer is from California by way of the Bronx in New York . In other words, she grew up in the Bronx then took a musical journey that eventually landed her on the West Coast. She plays at venues like The Mint on Pico Blvd in L.A. She has been listed on the list of Southern California ‘s top unsigned artists for three consecutive years. And magazines such as Music Connection Magazine have done articles featuring Jennifer.
On Bend, Jennifer does the vocals and plays the acoustic guitar. She is backed up by Gregg Sartiano on bass, electric, acoustic and twelve string guitars. Gregg also provides the percussion on the album. Lauren Stalnecker plays the keys and mandolin. Lauren also plays lead guitar on a couple of songs. Anthony Cappolino is on electric guitar and Jeau James in on lead guitar. David Palmer is the drummer and most of the keys are done by Jason Allen. You might recognize Stalnecker’s name; he was the frontman for the Lauren Vision drug awareness program. Bend has 13 songs and lasts 52 and a half minutes. It was produced by Lauren Stalnecker.
The title track, Bend, is first up on the album. It is a great piece to start the album. It shows how sultry Jennifer’s vocals are. And when she cranks up the chorus, you can’t help but become an instant fan. The song has some great background music in it as well.
Second up is Nothing Without You. It has a bluesy country feel, with a little bit of pop jazz thrown in. Cyhndi Mora of Music Connection Magazine compares Jennifer to the likes of Natalie Merchant and The Cranberries. I’d go along with that, throwing a little bit of Martina McBride and Cheryl Crow in as well.
Several reviewers have mentioned the fourth track, He’s Like Strawberry Milk, as one of the best songs on the album. The music on the song provides a perfect backdrop for great vocals. The song is about a guy who is so unbelievable that “he’s like strawberry milk when you were a child”
Running Out of Time is another good song. The vocals are strong and the music terrific. I don’t think that Jennifer could have put together a better band to back up her wonderful vocals and guitar playing.
Almost To California, I’m No Saint and My Stepping Stone are also standout songs on the album. You shouldn’t miss an opportunity to hear Jennifer Vazquez. If you do, you will be missing one of the most talented performers to hit the scene in recent history.
Jennifer has clips from Bend on her web site. There are also a couple of videos available to watch too. If you like what you see and hear, the site has a link to CD Baby, where you can buy a copy of Bend.