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MINDY SMITH —MINDY SMITH (Giant Leap / TVX Records; self-released)

 

http://www.mindysmith.com

 

 

Out of the blocks in a determined, breezy fashion Mindy Smith lays down a mood of steely determination. As a great deal (as always with her music) honesty surfaces about her the state of her life. As in her pleading to be taken back (‘Take Me Back’) and asked to be given time on ‘Don’t Mind Me’; as she is sat there alone thinking and trying to sort herself out and get back into the flow of life. Something this all too often fragile singer-songwriter has done. Now on her own, her contract with Vanguard complete Smith is left to create her music with less restraints than ever before.

 

Thankfully, she has at last found herself standing on firmer ground than she ever has. Able to reveal her hurt and not overly dwell on it. Her song ‘Tin Can’ has a jaunty carefree feel enough to lift her spirit as she speaks of freedom opposed to sadness and regret. This feel of a greater contentment spills over on a pedal steel (Dan Dugmore) underscored ‘Everything Here Will Be Fine’. While on the flip-side of the coin, amidst swirling electric lead guitar (Joe Pisapia) and strong rhythm (Ian Fitchuk, Lex Price) ‘Sober’ contains a wonderful come join me hooky chorus. On the subject of hooks her co-write with Daniel Tashian ‘Pretending The Stars’ has her through off the shackles and cruise through life for once (I love the guitar work). Some of the songs and the recordings themselves came when she was at a low end regards a personal fall-out hence it is difficult to imagine her bettering the performances, particularly strong are her unwavering vocals. 

 

Smiths’ combination of pop, country and smoother stuff as in a Sarah Vaughan (a hero of Smith) inspired ‘Cure For Love’ have her run the gamut of Americana to good effect, and has in wondrous ballad ‘When You’re Walking On My Grave’ the performance to elevate her to greater things. Undoubtedly the best cut on the record the entanglement of female harmonies; Sarah Siskind, Julie Lee alongside her own vocals plus electric lead and pedal steel and mandolin, acoustic guitar (Bryan Sutton) a home run is struck! Country with a hint of gospel it shows where her heart lies. An album of this kind of music and she would be not only be turning heads but bodies too and people dipping in their pocket to buy one for a friend too. To close she delivers, in understated fashion ‘If I’ (complete with scratch vocals). A beautiful heart tugging affair she edges through the reflective, hand shaped lyrics to the sound of Sutton’s tender acoustic guitar and Pisapia’s restrained electric (and that is it) as in true showmanship reserves her best work on the record till the final two cuts.

 

                                                                   Maurice Hope  

 

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September 2018

1
The Devil Makes Three
70 pts.
Chains Are Broken
New West
FC,JB,RK,TJ,LK
2
Jimmy LaFave
65 pts.
Peace Town
Music Road Records
PKO
3
Malcolm Holcombe
48 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
FB,JBO
4
Cody Canada & the Departed
47 pts.
3
Blue Rose Records
CVL,DHO
5
Jeffrey Foucault
43 pts.
Blood Brothers
Blueblade Records
MB,SZ
6
The War And Treaty
42 pts.
Healing Tide
Thirty Tigers
FCE,AL,MG
7
Martha Fields
40 pts.
Dancing Shadows
Independent
SP,DH,RST,RW
8
The Weight Band
35 pts.
World Gone Mad
Must Have Music
DD,CRS,BM
9
David Olney
32 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music
LM
 
The Black Sorrows
32 pts.
Citizen John
Blue Rose Records
 
11
Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis
31 pts.
Wild Wild Wild
Bloodshot Records
GS
12
Hadley McCall Thackston
28 pts.
Hadley McCall Thackston
Wolfe Island Records
 
 
Nathan Bell
28 pts.
Er Gwaetha Pawb a Phopeth
Angry Stick
PK
14
Curse Of Lono
26 pts.
As I Fell
Submarine Cat Records
MM,JF
15
Ryan Martin
25 pts.
Gimme Some Light
High Moon
 
 
Stephen Simmons
25 pts.
Gall
Locke Creek Records
TK,HDB
17
Jason McNiff
23 pts.
Joy And Independence
At The Helm Records
 
 
Jim Lauderdale
23 pts.
Time Flies
Yep Roc
 
 
Kevin Gordon
23 pts.
Tilt and Shine
Crowville Media
MP
20
Eliza Gilkyson
21 pts.
Secularia
Red House Records
KG,JJC
21
Boz Scaggs
20 pts.
Out Of the Blues
Concord Records
BH,JSM
 
Lucero
20 pts.
Among The Ghosts
Thirty Tigers
JJ
 
Melissa Carper & Rebecca Patek
20 pts.
Brand New Old-Time Songs
Independent
MW
24
The Jayhawks
17 pts.
Back Roads and Abandoned Motels
Legacy
 
25
Lori McKenna
16 pts.
Tree
Cn Records

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