By Dusty Ray
Not every 9-year-old can boast that they have shared the stage with the likes of Spearhead and Melvin Seals. Jaden Carlson has, and her talent shines through on Tell Me What You See. Driven by Carlson’s humming acoustic guitar, the band holds tight through folk-infused ballads sung with full heart and soul.
The laidback mood of the album is set early on with the track “These Walls.” A lulling melody dances around Carlson’s lyrics, where she writes of being trapped in by society. She sings with a determination and originality that is beyond her years, and this drives the album through moods of jubilation, contemplation and also sadness.
“Tomorrows” is an optimistic song reminiscent of Blind Melon in instrumentation and lyrics. The album closes on a heavier note with “Funky Steele,” a rockin’ instrumental complete with alt-country/blues hooks; Carlson’s talent on guitar becomes the centerpiece.
The liner notes are hand drawn by Carlson, and add a funny and personal touch to the presentation; it gives you the sense that this project was her brainchild; something very special and important to her. This album is perfect for family listening, and is a great inspiration for young musicians who want to realize the possibilities of their talents.
Carlson’s talent is young and growing, and though she is still finding her voice, her songwriting ability and guitar work make her stand out as a young force to be reckoned with.