Sue Jeffers

Welcome Home (FBI Records)

"Collectors Choice 20x4x$200," featuring the work of Dexter Davis. Heights Arts Collaborative, 2163 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights Opening February 7, 216-371-3344. University Campus in Tempe.
Sue Jeffers writes fiery leftist numbers with which anyone of progressive political feeling can agree. We know this, because the lyrics are printed on the inside of Welcome Home. Good thing they are, because Jeffers's voice isn't the easiest to follow. Enunciation isn't one of her strong suits: She frequently tries to cram too many words into each bar, and her lyrics are often drowned out by her guitar playing (which is excellent, both from a technical standpoint and in terms of enthusiasm). Jeffers wouldn't be the first recording artist with a message to have that message muddied a bit on record.

But if it's passion and conviction you seek in your acoustic folk singers, Welcome Home is for you. Jeffers is anti-war, pro-environment, and anti-overzealous-cops-from-Garrettsville ("Officer Tom"). She locates her targets and hits them lyrically with the precision of the smart bombs of which she so obviously disapproves. For all its flaws, Welcome Home is an important piece of work for a tense, divisive, and confusing time.

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