Right now, nostalgia comes in waves. Enjoying a song from our past, Re-discovering a snack we used to love. Engaging in re-releases with new traits, flipping through memory books, and digging through the past. Memories can be healing, especially in today’s health and political climate, and the memory of a live performance can be fleeting.

Singer-songwriter Jen Grinels plays on our nostalgic hearts with the release of her Live Volume 1 full-length, recorded over three nights in early 2019 at The Music Box in Cleveland, OH, Rams Head Onstage in Annapolis, MD, and Avalon Theater in Easton, MD. The live music experience, something we haven’t been able to indulge in for an entire year, encapsulated in one gorgeous collection.

The light echoes from the sound bouncing off the walls of each venue, the magical eccentricities that live music brings with it. From the first mellow track “I Know Your Heart” through the soulful “Don’t Wanna Be Happy” and “Misery,” to the slow ballad-like presentation of “The Feeling,” Grinels powerfully champions multi-genre entertainment. And she doesn’t stop there, as “Can’t Stay Here” has roots in country with a little grunge flare. The sheer feeling (ha!) that rushes over you while playing this album gives you chills, as you imagine being at a live event in the future, singing into the open night air on a gorgeous evening.

That’s what this collection feels like. Live Volume 1 provides a little bit of hope at the end of this crazy pandemic tunnel. And doesn’t that just feel good right now?

Meredith Schneider