Jeannie Holliday, Mz. Peachez, Merv Murphy, Little Bobby Reynolds

When: Fri., Feb. 18, 8 & 10 p.m. 2011

Jeannie Holliday's voice ranges from a melismatic pop-jazz flutter to a soulful, blues-inflected wail—and what's more, she's developed this impressive instrument in just a few years on the scene. On her album You Can't Blame Me (Blast), she spices her crisp phrasing with tempo-bending, shape-shifting bits that show a strong hip-hop influence. She also adds rough edges to her sweet soprano, sounding at times like a higher-pitched Mavis Staples. That vocal toughness is especially appropriate for songs like "A Change Has Come," which is both a celebration of Barack Obama's presidential victory and a serious-minded meditation on the responsibilities it implies. And it's even evident when she portrays herself as a lovelorn dreamer on "Now Is the Time Baby"; her delivery is sensual yet precise, a combination that speaks to her romantic resolve. Holliday also performs on Friday, February 18, at Amberg Hall at Bethel New Life Church, 1140 N. Lamon; she'll do shows at 8 and 10 PM, and tickets are $25, $20 in advance.

Price: $25, $20 in advance

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