- Bryon Harris
Lisa Jeanette - "Don't Blame Me (Jolene's Reply)"
Review by Abby Kenna
“Don’t Blame Me (Jolene’s Reply)” by Lisa Jeanette is the epitome of women’s empowerment, with a hint of attitude resonating through the bluesy guitars and driving drums. Amongst the dark, western-inspired instrumentals, Jeanette’s amused tone adds a dramatic flair to this clever response to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”.
“Don’t Blame Me” opens with a familiar country twang, the guitar sliding into the introduction with the perfect edge of sass for the bold personality of the song. Reverberating arpeggios on an electric guitar fill the left-hand side of the mix while a bright, rhythmic acoustic comps on the right. This array of textures lays the foundation for Lisa Jeanette’s clear voice and narrative lyricism. Jeanette’s vocal delivery is the star of “Don’t Blame Me”, as she chooses expertly chooses moments to slip into a speaking voice, almost laughing as she sings of these “lies” spread about Jolene:
“That song you sing is such a fraud,
You spin your tale like Scheherazade”
With a change of harmony, the chorus creates another layer of dynamic contrast within the song. The rich bass climbs up and down bluesy licks that launch the chorus forward with bold, intentional movement. Almost taunting Dolly Parton for a response, the chorus ends with a dramatic stop to accentuate the cheeky tone as Jeanette sings:
“I don’t want to compete with you,
I don’t want your man,
Your man wants me.”
Amidst the amused tone carried throughout the song, Jeanette ultimately urges a message of empowerment with “Don’t Blame Me”. The bridge begins to build up to this climax, as “Jolene” pleads that they did not let something as silly as a man’s affections come between two women who should support each other.
Ending with an unpredictable, yet satisfying twist, Lisa Jeanette tells a tale of women’s empowerment as she takes on the role of Jolene in her song, “Don’t Blame Me (Jolene’s Response)”. This song will leave you feeling confident, captivated, and amused by this clever new perspective on Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”.
Check out a live performance of "Don't Blame Me (Jolene's Reply)"
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About Lisa Jeanette
Jellyfish on the Moon is singer-songwriter Lisa Jeanette’s second album having released her first album, Chasing Happy in 2017. Born and raised in Philadelphia, the youngest of nine, Jeanette took to time-sharing her siblings’ guitars. Her high school orchestral instrument, the double bass, led her to Temple University, where she studied with Henry Scott, bassist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Performance. Lisa plays with the Main Line Symphony Orchestra. She has been finding her voice and honing her songwriting skills while being mentored by Vance Gilbert and attending Ellis Paul's songwriting retreats. Jeanette is a multi-instrumentalist and accompanies herself on guitar, piano, and sometimes a Harpsicle.
Before the quarantine, Jeanette performed at Philadelphia area venues including The Kennett Flash, The Living Room, and Jamey’s House of Music. She also performed at many festivals in 2019 including The Black Bear Festival in Goshen, CT, The Ladybug Festival, Wilmington, DE, Turks Head Fest, The Downingtown Arts Fest, the Wayne Porchfest, and the Chester County Restaurant festival.
Jeanette's performance at the 2020 Philadelphia Folk Festival Contest led her to be the first performer booked for the 2021 festival. Her music can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, and Deezer.