Jennifer Nettles Kicks Off Solo Tour in Washington DC


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Jennifer Nettles released her first solo album That Girl on January 14 and launched the tour exactly a month later. On Friday night, she performed at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC.

The next night's performance at Hard Rock Live Rocksino in the Cleveland, OH suburb of Northfield was a sold-out show.

How are fans and reviewers responding to Nettles' solo effort? Inevitably, they're comparing it to the work she did as half of the country music duo Sugarland.

While Emily Yahr of The Washington Post described Sugarland's music as "energy-packed, carefree, delightfully weird," she characterized Nettles' solo performance as "calmer and more serious. The songs are slower and more thoughtful. The lyrics hit you harder ... frankly, it’s just a little less fun."

Chuck Yarborough echoed Yahr's thoughts after seeing the Northfield show: " ... she was a different performer." According to him, the stripped down, more elemental nature of Nettles' performance was a good thing, putting the focus on the songs, which he described as "high-grade."

That Girl was produced by music industry powerhouse Rick Rubin, whose trademark is the stripped-down sound that many reviewers have used to describe Nettles' solo album.

Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks has praised Rubin's style: "He has the ability and the patience to let music be discovered, not manufactured. Come to think of it, maybe he is a guru."

For the most part, That Girl seems to be working for fans:

Singer-songwriter Brandy Clark opened for Nettles over the weekend and is scheduled to tour with her through mid-April.

Image via YouTube