Having been called the heir to Nick Drake
's domain and a cross between Joan of Arc and Leonard Cohen
, Rose Polenzani
seems to have some fairly sizable shoes to fill. And fill them she does, with a captivating maturity and a sense of poetry seldom found in young artists. Polenzani offers more than just a girl, her acoustic guitar, and a bunch of songs. She pours out her soul in every note, each utterance unveiling a wealth of emotion and meaning. For her first musical offering, Polenzani devoted herself almost maniacally to a college arts project, memorializing songs on a four-track recorder with so much verve that she was given A's in all of her classes for having proven that she learned what it was to be an artist. From there, Polenzani became a staple of the Chicago open mic scene for two years before stretching her legs with a tour of the Northeast in 1997. That marked the beginning of a streak of good fortune, as she was invited to play with Shawn Colvin
, at the Newport Folk Festival, and at Lilith Fair in 1998, and got a call from the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray
with an offer of assistance. Independently releasing her self-produced debut album Dragersville
in August 1998, she continued to spread her wings with a showcase appearance during the Sundance Film Festival. And in 1999, after combing through all of Polenzani's early recordings together, Ray's not-for-profit Daemon Records released Anybody
to strong critical praise.