Cyndi Boste at the Vanguard, Newtown, this Sunday night 8.00pm.
In October a blogger's mind, naturally, starts to turn to your end of year Best Of. It's been a strong one many several promising releases stil to go (including a new Lucinda Williams? Maybe??) but one solidly in the top couple is Cyndi Boste's Foothill Dandy.
I won't whinge about why she isn't a household name, but please take it as read. It sells her short to say you won't hear a better Australian album this year, because this can hold its own against anything that's made the cover of No Depression. I've been a fan for years, since reading a Rhythms article in 2001 which made me buy Home Truths. Strengths are many, from her extraordinary voice (her website describes it "raw sugar and milk... blue cotton and silk", which is as good a guess as any, all I know is that it breaks my heart) and captivating songs. One thing about Foothill Dandy which strikes me too is the outstanding production, it really sounds like a product which has had money, skill and love lavished over it. I'm sure the skill and love is true but I'm not so sure about the money, which makes the depth of the sound a great triumph. I'm a big fan of the country-soul sound and we don't hear enough of it in Australia. Doing Nashville is one thing, but doing Muscle Shoals takes something special. But listen to "Best Kept Secret" on this album, that's how its done. There's straighter country numbers, but every song has a rich gloss of blues and folk elements too, plus potently used pedal steel, organ, fiddle, harmonica giving the whole thing a truly satisfying richness. "One Time" has a swirling 60s sound and every time I hear it I'm astounded it isn't all over the radio. This stuff, you shouldn't need a blog to tell you about. I'm told the album is being played on 2RRR's country shows, so good for them.
So what I'm saying is, if you're not already aboard this train, you'll want to be. If you're in Sydney, get along on Sunday. I can gurantee you a great time, the band will utterly rock and Cyndi will knock you out. Gig details in the post below.