Album Review: Truck-Stop Gypsy by Ajaia Suri

Album Name: Truck-Stop Gypsy
Artist: Ajaia Suri (or Jaia Suri)
Year/Label: 2002 / Independent

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Review by Pierce Foxe

Truck-stop Gypsy is Jaia Suri’s second CD. And it IS poetry. “Yeah.” You say to yourself, “Yeah.” Jaia gets inside you. You’re humming it a week later, trying to recall the words. Being a painter, as well as a poet, she shows you pictures – pictures made of words, carried on gentle, percussive tunes. You recognize the pictures.

The title track, Truck-stop Gypsy, is autobiographical. The easy, loping guitar and banjo, and the airy vocal conjure the pavement, moving beneath restless wheels. This is Jaia’s picture of her life on the road, with glances around at the human scenery.

Dry Wood bounces…skillfully exploring a totally fresh metaphor for destiny and purpose. Lion is about someone you probably know also. And God knows we are all calling for a Tail Wind.

The poet is the one in the community who says “it” for the rest of us. Jaia Suri discharges this sacred duty with wry aplomb, wit, and musical grace, whether on banjo or guitar. Her arrangements are uncluttered and lilting, given delicate support by Paul Sprawl on bass, drums, and mandolin, along with Jeff Gilkinson on cello. Her voice is flighty, languid (yet a bit urgent), and conversationally engaging.

This is first class work form a fresh young voice with an “old soul”, whose further observations I await eagerly. In the meanwhile, Truck-stop Gypsy is really hard to get out of my CD player. Maybe yours too.

Pierce Foxe, December 2002

Posted on December 13, 2002

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. Truck-stop Gypsy
2. Alyssa
3. Dry Wood
4. Lion
5. Becomes a Song
6. 2 Guitars and a Banjo
7. Wearing Scales
8. No Man
9. Maybe Then
10. Tail Wind

[Ajaia Suri Official Site]


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