Girls Good & Otherwise
'Girls, Good & Otherwise' is a crafted collection of songs, an old-school album. The first and final songs provide thematic bookends (because we are, after all 'Only Human' and we all want 'Nothing But Love.') The tracks in between offer nine stories of good intentions and misdeeds, spanning genres from pop to rock to folk to jazz, and producer Charles Rieser has carefully crafted an arc to the album that promises twists and turns, both dark and light. The Austin Chronicle sums it up this way in their December 2011 review: 'For women, every day is a tightrope walk of actions both micro and macro in scale, the mundane mingling gloriously with the transcendent. This delicious tension is at the root of local singer-songwriter Jean Synodinos' third album, Girls, Good & Otherwise. Synodinos juxtaposes day-to-day concerns with much larger ones of contentment, partnership, and home, assembling an impressive cadre of supporting local musicians to back up her musings on what it means to 'Be a Good Girl,' including her husband, guitarist Charles Rieser, as well as Redd Volkaert... [and] the ace in the hole is Synodinos' velvety voice, which encapsulates both the beauty and pain of being a girl, Good & Otherwise.' The disc features some of Austin's finest players. The core band includes Bruce Hughes on bass (Jason Mraz, The Resentments), Rob Hooper on drums and percussion (Carolyn Wonderland, Guy Forsythe), and Charles Rieser on guitars (The Scabs). Guest performers include Redd Volkaert on guitar (Merle Haggard), Red Young on B3 (Joan Armatrading), John Pointer on cello and beatbox, and Katie Gosnell on background vocals.