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Katarina Pejak, Pearls On A String Review

by April 25, 2024

Katarina Pejak, Pearls On A String Review

Katarina-Pejak-cdKatarina Pejak’s Pearls On A String is a compelling blend of contemporary blues, folk jazz, Americana, and rock elements. Released under Ruf Records and enriched by collaborations with artists like Laura Chavez and Dana Colley, this album marks a significant evolution in Pejak’s musical journey. The blend of original compositions and covers provides a rich auditory experience that resonates with themes of personal growth and introspection.

Pejak, drawing inspiration from an eclectic mix of influences from Tom Waits to Bessie Smith, ventures beyond her classical blues roots to embrace the gritty essence of American roots music, tinged with her Balkan heritage. Her lyrical themes echo a journey of personal evolution and artistic freedom, presenting a mature voice seasoned through her past works and experiences in different cultural music scenes. The musical synthesis in Pearls On A String is particularly notable, blending traditional blues with country jazz and rock in a way that matches her vocal tone and delivery. The title track and songs like “Woman” and “Notes on Boredom” showcase Pejak’s adeptness at integrating these musical styles, while her cover of Pink Floyd’s “Money” and “Honey Jar” by The Wood Brothers highlight her creative versatility in reinterpreting well-known tracks.

The album is a captivating fusion of cultures, intertwining Pejak’s Serbian roots with the diverse influences of theKatarina-Pejak-pic-2 American and French music scenes. This cross-cultural dialogue enriches the traditional blues with new textures and sounds, creating a unique musical experience that reflects Pejak’s continued growth as an artist. Her confidence, which has been blossoming since her debut with Ruf Records, is palpable, allowing her to delve deeper into her capabilities and present an engaging album that is an artistic statement of her evolving identity.

Pearls On A String navigates through a spectrum of emotions, from the introspective depths in “Jeremy’s Boat” to the upbeat rhythms in “It Only Takes A Song. The flow of the tracks guides listeners through a narrative of personal and artistic growth, culminating in a reflective and empowering finale. Songs like “Too Late” and “Slow Explosion” showcase a seamless flow from Americana tones to steamy, sensual backbeats, illustrating Pejak’s knack for emotional storytelling.

Pearls On A String showcases technical excellence, particularly evident in Katarina Pejak’s intricate piano work. The dynamic interplays between Boris Rosenfeld on guitar, James Hagan on bass, and Carl Byron on drums further exemplify the album’s musical sophistication. These interactions enhance the individual tracks and contribute to the album’s cohesive sound, making it technically solid and emotionally compelling. Rosenfeld brings his versatile contributions on guitar and pedal steel. The title track, “Pearls On A String,” features an outstanding guitar solo by Boris Rosenfeld and showcases Katarina Pejak’s exquisite vocal range and deft touch on the keys. Similarly, “Woman” highlights her ability to blend seamlessly with Dana Colley’s captivating saxophone solo, demonstrating her skillful keyboard playing and expressive singing. These elements underscore her talent in both vocal and musical performance.

Katarina-Pejak-pic-1Pearls On A String solidifies Pejak’s significant evolution as an artist in the blues genre and bridges various musical and cultural divides, making it a substantial release in Pejak’s discography. This album is best appreciated in a quiet setting, allowing for a deep and immersive experience to fully absorb the lyrical depth and musical complexity. Pearls On A String will undoubtedly resonate with blues, jazz, and soul music fans and is a must-listen for those who appreciate musical storytelling woven with emotional and cultural richness.


Katarina Pejak


Pearls On A String


Ruf Records

Release Date

April 19, 2024

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