Release Date: Jul 15, 2014
Record label: Blue Note
Genre(s): Jazz, Country, Americana, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Country-Rock, Country-Rock, Jazz Blues
Puss N Boots began performing in N.Y.C. nightclubs in 2008 but didn't deliver their debut, No Fools, No Fun, until the summer of 2014 -- a pretty good indication that this group was intended as something of a lark. All three musicians -- Sasha Dobson, Catherine Popper, and Norah Jones -- keep themselves busy with solo day jobs that range from in-demand supporting musicians to full-time superstars, but Puss N Boots affords the trio an opportunity to indulge in their shared love of country and other pieces of ramshackle Americana.
This charming hang session with Norah Jones, jazzy singersongwriter Sasha Dobson and alt-rock session vet Catherine Popper began as three friends blowing off steam at a pool hall – think of it as a slacker version of Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt's Trio project. Most bar bands don't manage trio harmonies near this gorgeous, but the song selection is uneven. A cover of Wilco's "Jesus, Etc." is a keeper; their take on Neil Young's "Down by the River," not so much.
This engaging, if rather ragtag, outfit is another side project for Norah Jones. It’s one where she can loosen up and play music outside of her usual fare as she does in the similarly conceived Little Willies. Teaming with fellow singer/songwriter/players Sasha Dobson (bass/drums) and Catherine Popper (bass/guitar), the stripped down trio’s debut consists of a somewhat arbitrary blend of covers, original tunes and live work.
Sasha Dobson, Norah Jones and Catherine Popper join forces on this record to offer a crash course in mostly singer/songwriter country music. The album is oddly put together, combining studio and live recordings, leaving it hard to get into any defined space. The album splits 12 tracks roughly 50/50 between covers and original music, but if you opt for the Amazon exclusive edition with two additional bonus tracks, it further tips the scales toward the covers.