Jolie’s word-of-mouth grassroots appeal sprang from a relentless self-organized touring schedule and her ability to rejuvenate popular support for what Phil Ochs called “topical music”… “As a folk singer, it’s too easy to stay silent for fear of offending someone, but I find that people are more apt to be pleasantly surprised by music which actually challenges their thinking. People respond to my music because it’s funky and funny and
hopeful, and it’s not just about me and my love life. Jolie1s performances juxtapose courageous, personal-political lyrics with radio-friendly melodies and vocals. Her haunting vocal acrobatics are regularly likened to those of popular divas Kate Bush, Victoria Williams and Tori Amos.3With a strong, clear voice, Jolie relates the poetry of her songs with a breathy closeness that denotes audio intimacy,2 writes Syracuse New Times critic and Common Threads Folk Radio host Larry Hoyt. Decidedly a folk singer, her voice draws attention to wryly sophisticated songwriting which The
Peace Newsletter likens to that of artist/activists Phil Ochs, ani difranco, Billy Bragg, and Bufffy Sainte-Marie.
“You can call Jolie Rickman’s style olk music if you wish; indeed, she cites the legendary Pete Seeger as one of her primary models. Yet Rickman’s musical approach is thoroughly modern, with touches of Buffalo alternative folk cult star ani difranco screaming out, too”, writes The Syracuse Herald Journal.