"Her lovely voice recalls Natalie Merchant, but the material she sings is punchier...
She has a searching songwriting style that harks back to old Tom Waits and Rickie Lee Jones records." -Nick D., listen.com

With influences that range from Tom Waits to Joni Mitchell, singer/songwriter Jodi Sheeler's self-titled debut is an eclectic blend of folk, rock and pop. Jodi's deep soulful voice and bittersweet lyrics paint vivid pictures of city life, childhood friendship and the elusiveness of love. Jodi was born in Italy and raised on U.S. military bases in Germany. The daughter of a music teacher, Jodi's interest in the performing arts began as a little girl trailing behind her father to the high school musical rehearsals. After college and a brief career as an actress, Jodi moved to New York City where she began singing and writing in earnest. Learning to craft songs and play guitar in small coffee houses, she chipped away at building an audience that is now at capacity at such established New York venues as CBGB's Gallery and The Bitter End.


REVIEW: Mermaids

By Jennifer Layton, Indiemusic.com

Jodi Sheeler is an incredible singer/songwriter and another reason I should never move to New York City. Over the past two years, I’ve heard such talent from the bars, clubs, subways and sidewalks of New York, I’d never be able to hold down a job if I lived there. I’d just unroll my sleeping bag behind the bar at the Bitter End and scrape enough loose change off the sticky floors every morning to buy hot dogs from the sidewalk vendors, spending every night watching amazing shows and singing along before finally passing out in a haze of Bacardi and cigarettes.

You know, that does sound like a big improvement over my day job .... I could sell my furniture to finance the trip .... won’t be needing it anymore anyway ...

Sorry. I’m back. This is about Jodi Sheeler and her husky, warm, absolutely luscious voice that can sound elegant in some tracks and downright bawdy in others. She’s sensual, playful, openhearted, and so full of energy, I half expected her to come bursting out of my speakers.

Sheeler is equally skilled in both the singer and the songwriter departments, and why some major label hasn’t snatched this woman up yet, I do not know. She has perfect control over that voice, as evidenced by tracks such as “Come Next July,” a twangy torch song of heartache, in which her voice gets weepy without getting overly dramatic. And on the ethereal title track, her voice sounds irresistibly hypnotic, and the production puts a slight echo behind it. Listening to that song is like falling asleep on a raft while the sun is setting.

Of course, even the most beautiful voice can’t save a CD if the songs aren’t good, but Sheeler’s got that covered as well. The most impressive aspect of her songwriting is how she nails a whole scene with just a few words. As she watches love dissolve in one particularly sad ballad, she sings, “I gave you a halo, you wanted a crown.” Enough said. We know.

Her words, like her voice, are so full of life. “Has To Be You,” a song about being emotionally jolted awake by falling in love, celebrates it all: seeing the city as if for the first time, even though she lives there, and seeing it sparkle and blaze. There’s also a great line about chemistry in “Plain As Day”: “Maybe I’m crazy, but I caught your double take at me. I’m thinking maybe there’s a chance you’ll take on me.”

Other highlights include the inspiring vision of the title track, a song about not losing faith in herself. “You learn to swim or you sink like a stone. I’m with the mermaids on the F train coming home.” I also love the humor in the duet she does with guest vocalist David Mead, a song in which two people swear that nothing romantic will ever, ever happen between them, even though they’ve pretty much got it mapped out in their heads already. Classic denial set to music.

Every song shines. From the smoky jazz element of “Little Finger” to the spunky, hungry, rockabilly lust of “Stay If You Can.” (Producer Ethan Eubanks is credited with hand claps and ass slaps on that particular song. I would give a lot of money to have been in the studio that day.)

This CD is vibrant and alive, reflecting the spirit of the city in which Sheeler lives. Sometimes she celebrates its racing pulse. Other times, she slips beneath it in search of something more peaceful. “Closer to Serenity” feels like a gospel choir lullaby.

You must have this CD. It will seduce you.