Flood


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Everyone is Equal at the Laundromat

Flood is an album of fifteen original songs by Jenni Mansfield Peal featuring her character ballads and offering a diverse listening experience for connoisseurs of Americana post-modern folk.

Released:
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2004

Publisher: Scatterbranch Music Publishing, Dallas, Texas.

Download song lyrics (PDF)


Songs


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Everyone is Equal at the Laundromat Everyone is Equal at the Landromat
Some of the songs I write may be called urban folk. “Everyone is Equal at the Laundromat” is some post-phosphate philosophy.

Pearl

Bad for Business

Green Streak

Ponytail Boys

If I Were My Boyfriend

The Ballad of Susanna Dickinson The Ballad of Susanna Dickenson
Many of the songs I write are character ballads. What interests me is the human moment – creating a song that is like a painting or photo of a moment in time for a real person, or a fictional person realistically human, with all of the awareness, confusion, hopes, and fears that a person can bring to a critical moment. I hope you enjoy my ballad of Susanna Dickinson, a character from Texas history. Susanna and her eighteen-month-old daughter Angelina survived the siege of the Alamo in 1836; General Santa Anna asked her to tell her story to him, then he gave her safe passage to where General Sam Houston was encamped in Gonzales. My story picks up there.

The Flood

Trust Me

Cyrus Love/The Lowlands of Holland

Where’s My Baby Now

Ghost Light Ghost Light
“Ghost Light” is a song I composed around a poem by Dallas poet T. Daniel Sheppeard. He explained to me that the ghost light is the last light left burning in a theater, illuminating the stage, and that actors, out of respect, do not pass through it.

Whore’s Breakfast

Texas Onions Texas Onions

Mudflap Bob


Album Notes


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Fourteen years after she won Dallas’ Poor David’s B.W. Stevenson Songwriter’s Competition and was featured on the main stage of Rod Kennedy’s Kerrville Folk Festival, after she released her first album of original songs (Big Wind, Scatterbranch Music Publishing, 1990), Jenni’s character ballads are still the most requested of her songs. On Flood, her newest album, Pearl sketches an excruciating human moment in the voice of a subject of police questioning, creating a character that is ultimately identifiable only by the intimacy of her dilemma. The Ballad of Susanna Dickinson, based on the historical account of a woman survivor of the battle of the Alamo, presents a more detailed picture on the model of the famous story paintings that hang today in the Alamo buildings in San Antonio, Texas. Cyrus Love, also from a historical figure, communicates one soldier’s sad and thoughtful experience of the Civil War in the poetry of his tender letters to loved ones back home in Limestone County, Texas.

Jenni gives voice to prostitutes and others who love lawlessly or regrettably, as well as those who simply admire and dream. Ghost Light, a collaboration with Dallas poet T. Daniel Sheppeard, catches the dusty mystery of a just-vacated playhouse. Everyone is Equal at the Laundromat finds what is true but not always obvious, as does The Flood, title track of the album. Asymmetrical accordion gives that song-chant its odd appropriateness as the center, the slippery hole in the middle of the long-play experience. Bad for Business, Green Streak, Ponytail Boys, and Where’s My Baby Now each explore different aspects of the endless drama between men and women. If I Were My Boyfriend and Trust Me observe personal transformations, while Mudflap Bob and Texas Onions are highway fantasies, both involving appetite.

Jenni Mansfield Peal’s prima donna torch vocal style shows the richness and character she has gained through her many years as Jenni Mansfield, performing her music in happy freedom (unencumbered by fame) throughout Texas and various locations of the United States and globe. Arrangements including guitar, piano, accordion, violin, viola, electric guitar, mountain dulcimer, bass guitar, percussion and some very interesting back-up vocals (hear especially Whore’s Breakfast) complement her free-spirited style, making Flood diverse listening for connoisseurs of Americana post-modern folk. The album’s assembled musicians help Jenni pull every nuance out of her material, gaining lyrical subtlety and instrumental sophistication.

The fourteen years needed to write the songs, the four years used to produce the album; this time has allowed our Texas guitar girl songwriter to find the voice, the artistic courage, and the help of other musicians to create a shimmering compilation of great songs. Flood.