Tami Neilson won’t be staying New Zealand’s secret for much longer. For the past decade, the Canadian-born, New Zealand-based singer/songwriter has been the queen of her adopted homeland’s country and roots music scenes. She picked up a Best Country Album award at the New Zealand Music Awards and won the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll for excellence in songwriting.
With her new album, SASSAFRASS! (due June 1 on Outside Music), Neilson takes a giant step that should only bring her more widespread acclaim. On this 11-track effort, she places a heavier emphasis on soul music while not abandoning her country and rockabilly roots. Neilson conjures up a wonderfully retro style that sounds like it could be a lost gem from the late ’50s or early ’60s however, beneath the classic veneer are frank, highly relevant lyrics.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Miss Jones”, one of the standout tracks on the album. Neilson oozes soul and confidence as she sings at hyper speed, at times nearly rapping along. While her commanding vocals remain front and center throughout, Neilson also lets her band shine with their own blend of old school soul and funk bundled into one uptempo, almost frenetic groove. Coming in at just over two minutes, “Miss Jones” is an ode to one of Neilson’s musical influences, and that influence can be heard all throughout the tune.
Sharing her own story behind the song’s meaning, Tami Neilson has this to say:
“This song is my love letter to Sharon Jones, my note of gratitude for the inspiration she’s given me as a female artist. I broke down crying the day I read the news of her death, she was one of my heroes and I connected with her resilience so deeply. One of my great regrets is not having the chance to see her perform in the flesh- I had a gig the night she played in Auckland on her last visit here. So, I wrote this song, imagining how it would’ve felt to be standing front and centre, watching her rip it up. You don’t often get songs that capture that platonic admiration, woman to woman. We need more of that. There’s power in building each other up. It’s a song of celebration of the strength and sass of an incredible woman. I just hope I did her justice.”
Listen to the song here