Cindy G – Moonshiner’s Daughter
The apocryphal state of country music has been leading more and more of its most loyal fans to take a second look at bluegrass and folk music, both of which have been experiencing a talent spike in the last half decade. On the bluegrass side of things, no one has been as much attention as Pennsylvania born singer/songwriter Cindy G, whose new record Moonshiner’s Daughter hits stores this September. Cindy G might not be a household name, but her reputation in the music business is titanic. Moonshiner’s Daughter finds her retracing her lineage to make a roots album for the ages, and in 45 minutes time it brings olds school bluegrass into the 21st century.
None of the music in Moonshiner’s Daughter feels like it was thrown together or conceived on the fly, and in contrast to many of her closest rivals’ recent records it doesn’t play to a rigid compositional formula. Instead, the songs found here feel like a treasure chest of diary entries, internal thought and dialogue captured from a dream, none sharing the same message but all of which connected by Cindy G’s soul. A serious music enthusiast could get lost in the countless minute details to behold in this record, while more typical music consumers will be hypnotized by its memorable hooks.
The autobiographical swing tune “Pennsylvania Dirt” is a bit of a swansong for the bluegrass chapter of Cindy G’s career and excellently conveys the personal nature of Moonshiner’s Daughter as a whole. Cindy is so vulnerable in most of these songs, including the more freewheeling ones like this, but she’s very careful not to unload all of her emotions at once. Her new album unravels one song at a time and doesn’t overwhelm us with all of its strength in a single blow – something younger artists should try to do more often.
The blistering bluegrass workout “More Good Looking on You” might not have been meant to get all the wallflowers out onto the dance floor, but it’s going to have the effect anyway once it makes its way onto honky tonk playlists everywhere. Country fans who miss the fighting spirit of their favorite genre are going to find some shelter beneath the rhythms and harmonies that singers like Cindy G turn out just for the fun of it, and this song defines the reason why. Call her music a crossover artist if you want, but as far as I’m concerned this is bluegrass for a post-millennium world.
Moonshiner’s Daughter is the perfect album to soundtrack some focused inward thinking and self-examination, but it also packs enough to muscle to turn a dull night into a party. I’ve always said that first impressions are what make or break any artist of any genre, and though I wasn’t familiar with Cindy G’s work prior to listening to this new record, you can bet everything that I’ll be reviewing everything she puts out in the future. She’s got the wit, the confidence and just enough rebelliousness to be a legend in her own time, and with albums like this one in her discography, her name is one I won’t soon forget.
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