Personnel: JJ Heller (vocals); Dave Heller (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); David Henry (strings); Ben Shive (keyboards); Mitch Dane (percussion, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Mitch Dane.
Recording information: Sputnik Sound, Nashville, TN; True Tone Recording.
Illustrator: Luke Flowers.
Photographer: Daley Hake.
JJ Heller continues to show her mastery of folk-pop storytelling on her fourth disc, When I'm with You. The indie artist weaves tales of relationships and her faith with the bravado of Sara Bareilles or Colbie Caillat. In the two years since her last disc, Heller had a baby girl to whom several of the songs are dedicated. She also had the good fortune during that time of getting on listeners' radar screens when contestant Diana Drexler used Heller's song "Your Hands" as her audition song on So You Think You Can Dance. Tracks were also featured on One Tree Hill and other television shows. Heller's vocals are endearing and approachable, particularly on the meaningful title track. The metaphors of her new mother-daughter relationship on "Boat Song," and her continual calls of vulnerability resonate throughout the album and render this a touching, personal effort. ~ Jared Johnson