Singer/Songwriter Extras! On the Nashville Scene.
While Michele Vreeland and John Enghauser have outstanding releases that can accurately be placed under the singer/songwriter designation, there’s very little of the alt.country, folk or progressive bluegrass flavor that many listeners automatically assume will be the case with anything carrying this tag. Vreeland’s Never Not Myself has a pronounced rock/pop feel, while Enghauser’s Lost In the Pages intersperses Latin, jazz and blues sensibility within its rock framework.
Vreeland’s voice is smooth and prominent, but doesn’t lack intensity or authority. Her subjects include female empowerment and the nature of friendship (”Nico”) as well as optimism and identity (”LA Dream”). Some numbers feature acoustic backgrounds with minimal production, while others employ echo effects with multiple textures and layers. Still, the arrangements and focus outline Vreeland’s driving, confident leads and solid singing and writing skills.
Enghauser’s been involved in many musical styles dating back to his days playing rock in the ’90s. The title track of Lost In The Pages lyrically riffs on the erratic nature of stardom and the music business, while “Still Waters” and “Breathe Again” present a softer, sentimental side. But Enghauser, who plays bass, all the guitar and keyboard parts plus adds lead vocals, proves a masterful performer in every capacity.
Though neither Michele Vreeland’s nor John Enghauser’s discs fit into another area commonly seen as home to singer/songwriters — Americana — fans who enjoy intelligent lyrics, catchy yet not overly simplistic melodies and energetic playing and singing will enjoy Never Not Myself and Lost In The Pages.