Performing Songwriter Magazine
The movement of Joni Mitchell’s Hejira comes to mind as you experience the jangly guitar and expert electric bass-playing on Julie Dougherty’s latest release. Drums and percussion join in to keep things grooving as Dougherty’s vocals swing from gritty and solid to light and soaring.
Dougherty plays both acoustic and electric guitar on the record and shows a capable hand with both. Her songs are chock-full of images from a corporate man in his high-rise feeling “the burden of his Midas touch” in opener “Leap in the Dark” to “this populated solitude, where we walk our paths alone” in the title track.
Rich vocal harmonies and the occasional keyboard, flute or saxophone complete the sonic picture. Overall, a collection of songs that display the grace and mellow confidence of a professional musician doing her own unraveling and thoroughly enjoying herself.
Paul Stookey : Peter, Paul & Mary
"Julie! I don't know anybody that can pull folk, jazz and funk
together like you, gal! What a pleasure to hear you connect all
your talented dots over such a rich array of players...this CD grooves!"
Bob Franke : nationally acclaimed Singer/Songwriter
"I've been a fan of Julie Dougherty's for a long time now.
Her new album has given me the experience of being astonished by
an old friend. The emotions are raw, the lyrics are confessional,
and the arrangements are rich although never overdone. It's an ambitious
work worth every bit of the time I spent with it: truly adult music
in the best sense of the word. It's as if, all the time Julie tried
to fit her insight and her musicality into the country-pop mold,
she were running with weights on: in this album, the weights have
come off, and she's flying with new wings. The country-pop template
is gone, and in its stead are arrangements that remind me of Joni
Mitchell at her most essential. Julie never gets lost in that great
woman's shadow, though: she travels this territory simultaneously
with the assurance of a professional and the delight of a child.
It's a tremendously satisfying work."
White : nationally acclaimed Singer/Songwriter/Humorist
"Great songs. Flawless musicianship and the voice of an angel.
Julie Dougherty is a treasure."
Bartley : prize-winning acoustic guitarist & a nationally respected
"In her forty years as a bona fide working musician,
Julie Dougherty has developed a voice sassy enough to front full-blown
rhythm and blues bands and intimate enough to grace coffeehouse
stages as a solo singer-songwriter. She has also written songs attractive
to Nashville publishers. Her newest CD of all original material, The Sweet Unraveling, is an extremely strong offering in
the style of Joni Mitchell's Hejira that blends exhilarating
folk-jazz propulsion with meaningful writing born of experience.
Producer Mark Levreault brought in excellent players... Dave Mattacks
of Fairport Convention fame on drums, Matt Leavenworth on acoustic
guitar and violin, Lucas Pickford on bass, and the great Bobby Keyes
on electric guitar to name a few, to make a recording that brilliantly
showcases Ms. Dougherty's sophisticated musical palette and candid
Mark Levreault : Producer,
Recording Engineer, Guitarist
Producer of The Sweet Unraveling
"As a producer, one is always on the lookout for that unique
artist with all the right stuff - innate talent, great material,
confident stage presence, and the desire to reach beyond their limits
and explore new territory. In Julie Dougherty, I found much more
than that. Her passion for her music and her quest for it's expression
was more than just a "project" for us, but an endeavor.
Seeing this project as more than simply an opportunity from which
to learn and hone our skills, we brought to it all that we have
learned and absorbed over the years, attempting to inject her music
with life and soul. The songs on this CD range from the most intimate
and simple arrangements to some of the most lush and harmonically
rich that you will hear anywhere today. And all are delivered in
a brilliant vocal style that is familiar and fresh, accenting the
quality and integrity of Julie's vocal skills while never obscuring
the subtlety and richness of her excellent guitar playing. All the
right stuff and more."