If anything, Jude Johnstone sure keeps good company. Her material has been covered in the past by the likes of Johnny Cash, Trisha Yearwood and Stevie Nicks, to name a few. Johnstone's fourth album, Mr. Sun, is a fine example of why her songs garner attention by her peers. Mr. Sun is a collection of jazz laced ballads, bluesy slow dance numbers and occasional earthy pop songs ('Mr. Sun').
Johnstone is a unique singer, able to deftly deliver vocals serenely, never resorting to gimmicks. Her timbre is warm and sugary, evoking substance in a contemporary singing style that is a blend of Bonnie Raitt and Rebecca Martin (of now defunct duo Once Blue). It's both soothing and seductive.
Mr. Sun is more than spare or varied Americana. Johnstone uses, or rather, re-tools jazz and blues with a modern lilt – whether its airy, uplifting songs or those with a country stride to them ('So Bad'). The album hits a lot of high marks, from the atmospheric 'Winding Back My Heart' to the soulful, piano-laced, 'Echoes of Blue'.
Johnstone is the type of singer that gets better with time, a voice refined with experience, and she finds a comfortable position when chewing up the jazzier material. Those songs are simply elegant. But there are times when Mr. Sun eclipses sheer musicality, capturing the sound and feeling of being in love and falling out of it.
Brian Tucker, Bootleg Magazine