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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Review: Jana Mashonee - New Moon Born

Jana Mashonee – New Moon Born
2009, Miss Molly Records

Jana Mashonee is a voice to be reckoned with. Her soulful, stannic alto is full of vibrato and swirling hues that capture the listener’s attention. She’s a performer for whom you’d gladly buy a concert ticket even if she was singing the phonebook. An award winning (7 Nammy Awards, 1 Grammy nomination) Native American (Lumbee Indian) singer, Mashonee aims for greater popular exposure with her latest CD, New Moon Born. With a mix of Soul, R&B, Latin, Native American and pop styles, Mashonee appears to have found a winning musical combination.

New Moon Born opens with OsirisStar and an incredible vocal line from Mashonee. The lyrical depth is more than you might expect from your typical, pop-oriented album; but nothing else here indicates that Mashonee is typical. There are some samples of fairly typical pop fare such as Solid Ground, Used To Be In Love and Water’s Edge. At the same time there are some real stunners on New Moon Born. For Just One Night is a gorgeous, affecting performance featuring some delicious minor key vocal harmonies. The Spanish version, Una Noche is even more powerful. Miracles spices things up with a funk-filled bass line and a dance beat guaranteed to get your feet moving. Sunday Morning shows Mashonee working in her upper register and sounding remarkably like Paula Cole.

So far, so good, but Carousel is the song you came to hear. Jana Mashonee shows signs of a big, powerful voice all throughout New Moon Born, and on Carousel she lets it run with vigor. Carousel is classic Soul/R&B ala Aretha Franklin (or more recently, Melinda Doolittle). Mashonee can belt with the best of them and delivers an absolutely stunning performance here. If she can do on stage what she does on CD then she has the potential to be a legend.

Jana Mashonee is already an icon. She is a sterling musical representative of The First Nations of the Americas, melding Native American and Latin sounds with traditional pop music in a fashion that has few forebears. Her powerful, hue-filled voice is instantly memorable and recognizable; resounding in the listener’s mind like a lucid dream. Mashonee delivers the songs on New Moon Born with a passion that burns right out of your speakers, and she’s impossible to overlook. New Moon Born has the potential to be a breakout recording.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Jana Mashonee at or New Moon Born will be released on January 20, 2009. You can order copies or digital downloads through

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