Appearances can be deceiving.
I'm expecting a blues CD to review so when I get the review copy of Cynthia Horton's Howlin' At The Moon I am a bit puzzled by the beautiful cover art. Puzzled and impressed but surprised since, like I said, I am expecting a blues CD.
I turn it over to look at the back and again I am surprised. There is a shot of a young woman dancing with an upright bass. Not what I was expecting.
Ok. Open the CD and pop it into the player. Another surprise. Not the blues I was expecting.
So what! From the first few bars I am in love with this CD. I don't stop listening until it has played the whole way through. And then I start it a second time while I check out the liner info. This twelve song collection of original music is a treat for anyone who likes the sound of early country music. As I listen, the song writing brings Hank Williams to mind, the music reminds me of country music from the 1940s and 1950s with a touch of Texas swing and the vocals are as steamy as Patsy Cline.
There may be the blues connection. Horton's voice has a low, throaty, smokey quality that can be light, serious, humorous, celebratory or erotic to suit the lyrics. Sometimes she manages to use several vocal colorings in the same song to help move the emotions around on you.
Comedians enjoy making fun of country music's "cry in your beer" lyrics and Horton has included a bit of that, with good taste. But she also reaches far into other emotional realms to include topics that demonstrate country music's roots in the full range of human emotion and experience.
With a CD this strong it is hard to pick two or three that stand out but two good representative cuts might be Low Down Cheatin' Blues and You Do. Both are love songs of a sort. The first is an invitation to a bit of illicit romance and the second is a declaration of love with the hope that it is returned. Both are completely danceable tunes. One for slow dancing in a dim lit bar and the second a more up-tempo number that will let you two-step all the way Alberta.
While you are there be sure to check out Cynthia Horton. You won't be disappointed. And until you make to to hear her live you can grab a copy of Howlin' At The Moon. You won't be disappointed with it either!
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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