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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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April 2018

1
Courtney Marie Andrews
100 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
PK,CVL,DHO,JB,LK
2
Mary Gauthier
59 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
3
Caleb Caudle
49 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
TJ,TK,MP
4
Western Centuries
48 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
DD,GS,FS,HM
5
Vivian Leva
44 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
 
6
Ed Romanoff
42 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
7
Grant Peeples
41 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental
AN
8
Joan Baez
32 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
 
9
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
29 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
MF,HDB
 
Sam Morrow
29 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
JV
11
Chris Smither
27 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
JSM,JD
12
Michael McDermott
26 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
CRS
13
John Prine
24 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
SP
14
Mary Chapin Carpenter
23 pts.
Sometimes Just The Sky
Lambent Light Records
 
15
Dean Owens
22 pts.
Southern Wind
At The Helm
PJ
16
6 String Drag
21 pts.
Top of The World
Schoolkids Records
FCE,JS
 
Haley Heynderickx
21 pts.
I Need To Start A Garden
Mama Bird Recordings
 
 
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
21 pts.
Tearing At The Seams
Stax Records
RM
19
Abe Partridge
20 pts.
Cotton Fields And Blood For Days
Skate Mountain
MVP,RK
 
Adam James Sorensen
20 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
BM
 
Ben Reel
20 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
 
 
Chip Taylor
20 pts.
Fix Your Words
Train Wreck Records
LM
 
Kesia Nagata
20 pts.
Looking For Horses
Caramal Productions
GC,EZ
 
Sheesham & Lotus & 'Son
20 pts.
Clear The Table
SepiaPhone Records
SZ,PG
25
3hattrio
18 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
 
 
Marlon Williams
18 pts.
Make Way for Love
Dead Oceans

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