Sasha Dobson, Norah Jones and Catherine Popper join forces on this record to offer a crash course in mostly singer/songwriter country music. The album is oddly put together, combining studio and live recordings, leaving it hard to get into any defined space. The album splits 12 tracks roughly 50/50 between covers and original music, but if you opt for the Amazon exclusive edition with two additional bonus tracks, it further tips the scales toward the covers.
Norah Jones has been down this road before covering classic country tunes with her band The Little Willies with much better results. While the record starts off with the nice harmonizing of “Leaving London,” a Tom Paxton tune that is performed in a subdued but lovely arrangement, and a live performance of the Johnny Cash classic “Bull Rider,” it quickly falls off pace from there. Tracks like the cover of “Twilight” (The Band) or the Dobson original “Sex Degrees Of Separation” fall flat.
Jones’ “Don’t Know What It Means” is one of the few songs with any pace on the record. Aided by a nice electric guitar, it offers a kick alongside her passionate kickoff to each verse, a “Heeeeeeeey yooooooou,” grabbing the listener’s attention immediately. Catherine Popper’s “Always” also offers a small bit of tempo, but the results are middling, at best.
Considering they’ve spent time together in a live environment over the last six years, Puss N Boots’ No Fools, No Fun curiously seems haphazardly thrown together. It could have been—and should have been—a much better listen with the talent these three ladies possess. Unfortunately, it never quite jells.