Say My Name, the latest album by indie singer~songwriter Joy Zimmerman, weaves compelling vocals, rich instrumentation, and inventive songwriting. Its songs tell of gratitude, regret, hope and survival. The title track is a tribute to Camille Claudel, a 19th century French sculptor whose genius was silenced when she was committed to a mental institution. In other chapters, a typewriter delivers a break-up letter, jazz emboldens a profession of love, and a sweet bird assures the waking world. Lose—or find—yourself within these diverse tales.
Co-produced by Joy Zimmerman and guitar wizard Jimmy Dykes, Say My Name was skillfully recorded, mixed, and mastered by Duane Trower at Weights and Measures Soundlab in Kansas City. James Albright, Rod Lincoln, Gary Helm, Everett Freeman, Jr., Christine Broxterman, Ray DeMarchi, Ryan Dugan, Cindy Egger, and Joe Miquelon also contributed stellar tracks.
This album is dedicated to Camille Claudel and those who have been silenced. May we all listen….may we all be heard.
Joy's new CD:
Say My Name
is now available!
1. Say My Name (for Camille Claudel) imagines the voice of the 19th century French sculptor awaiting a release from a mental institution that never came. Claudel had been Auguste Rodin’s apprentice, model, muse, and lover, contributing to some of his best-known works and creating masterpieces of her own. After her father’s death, Claudel’s brother committed her to a mental institution while friends and doctors appealed for her release. The abandonment of Camille Claudel left a legacy of unfulfilled potential alongside master works. How long must I wait for you?
2. The Fall resulted from a dream, or rather, a few vivid images. Upon waking, I knew the images represented my fall from grace. Ultimately, the song is a celebration of survival. Somehow we all will survive.
3 . Dear John or Jane starts and ends with a typewriter tapping out a break-up letter. You are a bicycle to my fish. The author gives her reasoning in ill-fated images and hopes that a psychedelic guitar solo will soften the landing.
4 . Higher Place is a song of gratitude for the people who take us to those thin places and fill our lives with unconditional love. You are tender with my failings.
5. Messy Girl, one of the first songs I ever wrote, waited in the wings until now to be recorded. I have a messy house and a messy mind. Co-producer Jimmy Dykes’ suggestion that we make it swing brought the song new life and gave us the chance to highlight some of Kansas City’s finest jazz players. And it brought my first opportunity to record a jazz vocal.
6. No Shortcut To Love combines bluesy riffs with a series of life lessons, including the hard-won knowledge that love requires sacrifice and forgiveness is a challenge like no other. There’s no straight line when life is well-lived.
7. Your Memory, written for my own grief and for grieving friends, assures us that all that we lose continues to live within us, close at hand. I say thank you that we can summon our memories and their details whenever we need them.
8. Jump On In to what you desire, even though you risk heartache and hardship. The urge could take you any time to leap into the big and vast unknown. As the banjo and fiddle help profess, life for the brave is a hero’s ride.
9. Evensong pours out regret and hope at the close of this day and each day. I will count what’s swept away and give thanks for the love that remains. Within our bittersweet dreams lies the knowledge that we are held more deeply than we know.
10. Sweet Bird is a song for the birds who called to me each morning before dawn, reminding me that I could arise and carry on. The bird calls that start and end the song (and close the album) came from an ingenious wooden contraption with bellows from the 1800s. Upon your perch, above our plight, your gentle song calls forth the light. Sing to me, sweet bird.