Review: Cindy G. – Moonshiner’s Daughter

Moonshiner’s Daughter is Cindy G.’s third album, coming behind her 2012 debut The Road, and her second effort Jailbreak. Her second album featured Sam Bush, Bryan Sutton, Seth Taylor, Rob Ickes, Todd Phillips, Scott Vestal, Aaron Ramsey, and Rhonda Vincent and she has Rob Ickes, Todd Phillips, Cia Cherryholmes, Cory Walker, Ashby Frank, Seth Taylor, Dustin Benson and Jim Van Cleve (who also produced the album) as special guests on Moonshiner’s Daughter, so you can see that Cindy is working the top of the bluegrass talent list!

It’s been said that bluegrass is the happiest sounding sad music in the world, born of the high hollows of Appalachia. Cindy’s roots are in southwestern Pennsylvania, which makes her bluegrass songwriting, well, if not earthier certainly more gritty than the traditional tunes from farther south. Her bluegrass world consists of trailer homes, cheating spouses, moonshine, battered pickups, and local dive bars where life is hard but the songs are beautiful.

“The Forgotten”

The CD opens with the album titled song “Moonshiner’s Daughter“, a ballad to the character’s loss of her father to the revenuers and the cops. “Truckload of Troubles” is a rollicking romp of a song about getting rid of your troubles by packing up your no-good man and telling him not to come back. “Heiress” is a gorgeous ballad about a woman coming home to the place of her childhood and dealing with how both home and her life has changed. And this is a good point to address Cindy’s vocals – there are a lot of breathy female bluegrass vocalists out there, but that’s not Cindy. By the sound of it you don’t want to mess with Cindy unless you’re willing to mess with a strong woman. Even in the tender songs of reminiscence you get the feeling that she’s playing from a place of strength. Unique? Maybe, or maybe I’m missing some other vocalists out there. Appealing? Heck yes, from the first listen!

“More Good Looking On You” is an up-tempo banjo driven romp that proves that despite bluegrass’ reputation for desperate depressing tunes, Cindy doesn’t have to try too hard to find a good time.

I could go on listing great ballads and fast paced tunes you’ve never heard of (she does a LOT of songwriting) but we’ll cut to the chase – the album ends with the up-bat “Two Feet On The Floor” which is a great description of where Cindy is coming from with her stories. These are tunes from the wrong side of the tracks, and she shows that it doesn’t much matter if the tracks run through the mountains of Kentucky or the hills of Pennsylvania, you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with it.

The only way to truly appreciate both Cindy and her new album is to give it a listen, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Mark Hudson

Mark Hudson is a long time local HVBA member and music lover who, unfortunately, had to move away. He misses the local scene but will look for you at Greyfox!

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