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With touring an impossibility during lockdown, Jeni brimmed with songs. "A Body is A Delicate House" is her studio album from the lockdown period – first released as a hand-pressed CD in fall of 2021. After a successful limited pressing, she had the album remastered by Martin Stansbury of Cacophony Cottage Studios and factory pressed in 2022.
In this release and in her other lockdown release "I Fell Into the Fire," she returns to Jewell Ridge for stories as well as finding inspiration in the life of her late music mentor, Norman Cross.
The physical CD comes with a 46-page booklet complete with essays, liner notes, lyrics, and collages made by Jeni by hand.
This album includes songs which Jeni Hankins and Alfred John Hickling wrote mainly via correspondence between March 2020 and August 2021 when collaboration in person was impossible due to coronavirus lockdowns in Britain. Jeni lives in Carnforth, Lancashire, and Crystal Palace in Southeast London. Alfred lives in York. They've been writing songs together since 2015 and collaborating on performances since their bands met in 2010.
What makes these songs particularly for kids? Well there's something free about them, something nonsensical, and something playful. These are things which I always loved in songs I heard on Sesame Street or on Pete Seeger records.
Not all adults are open to a song about the virtues of string, whereas kids seem to understand. But I was pleased to meet an adult after the first public performance of these songs who said, "I know you wrote that string song for kids, but I like it too." Perfect.
Songs for kids, songs for free thinkers, songs for nonsense-lovers, songs for socks, songs for bears, boats, beans, and hippos.
Come one, come all. Take your chances in The Wondarium.
Beginning with Jeni’s first professional studio recording session in Maryland in 2005 and ending with an intimate solo studio recording at the home of friends in Tehachapi, California, Homecoming Queen brings together ten of Jeni’s original songs with a cover by kindred mountain music spirit Hazel Dickens. Jeni’s subtitle for this album is “the secrets girls keep buried down in their sleep.”
Jeni & Billy, Longing for Heaven
– Bluegrass Unlimited