My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Tag Archives: Kristy Cox

Album Review: Kristy Cox – ‘Part Of Me’

part of meI loved Australian bluegrass singer Kristy Cox’s previous album, so I was keen to hear her latest work, produced, like its predecessor, by songwriter Jerry Salley. She is in great form vocally; last time around I felt she was better on the ballads than the up-tempo material, but now she sparkles on the faster songs too, and is reminiscent at times of Rhonda Vincent.

‘Another Weary Mile’ opens the album briskly in typical bluegrass style. Written by Michael Rogers, Joshua D Trivett, and Jason Barie, it is one of only two completely outside song, with the remainder coming from the pens of Salley and/or Cox. A vibrant vocal brings the tale of life on the road and the lure of home alive.

Kristy co-wrote four songs. Allen Caswell helped her with ‘William Henry Johnson’, a mournful murder ballad about ‘a hero and a villain’ who breaks the protagonist’s heart and ends up dead as a result. Caswell collaborated with Kristy and Jerry Salley on ‘You Walked In’, an upbeat song about the joy of new-found love. Equally sweet is ‘Young Love Never Gets Old’, a romantic tale of a lifelong love story against all the odds, written by Kristy and Jerry. Kristy and Jerry wrote one more song, the pacy but regretful ‘I’m No Stranger To This Lonesome Road’.

‘The Part Of Me (That’s Still In Love With You)’ is a wistful ballad about the emotional power of a memory overshadowing a current relationship, which Salley wrote with Pam Tillis, with a lovely melody.

‘Little White Whiskey Lies’, written by Salley with Tammy Rogers, picks up the tempo with a bluesy edge. ‘Baby, You Ain’t Baby Anymore’ is a bluegrass burner, written by Salley with Jenee Fleenor, which has Kristy bemoaning a faltering relationship. The brisk ‘Your Train Don’t Stop Here anymore’, written with Dani Flowers, is also solid, while the set closes with an optimistic gospel tune penned by Salley with Sally Barris, ‘That’s Where The Faith Comes In’.

Finally, there is a lovely cover of Chris Stapleton’s moving ‘Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore’. Kristy’s vocal style is about as different from Stapleton’s rough hewn soul as one can imagine, and her version adds sweetness and a gentle regret. Beautiful.

The sparkling playing and immaculate arrangements make the perfect backdrop for Kristy’s clear, pure voice. This is an excellent album which I recommend strongly.

Grade: A

Album Review: Kristy Cox – ‘Living For The Moment’

living for the momentAustralian country singer Kristy Cox, now based in Nashville has turned to bluegrass for her latest album.  It is tastefully produced by the songwriter Jerry Salley, and it showcases her clear, pure voice on a fine set of songs.

The album leads off with a steam train’s whistle as Kristy launches into the frenetic upbeat ‘You’re My Kind Of Trainwreck’, which she wrote, and which sets the tone for the album.  In the mid-tempo ‘One Heartbreak Away’, she gives an ultimatum to an unsatisfactory lover who is running around on her while she stays crying at home.  ‘I’m Not Gonna Sing The Blues’ is another expression of an assertive attitude as she refuses to give into tears over a relationship.

The ballads generally allow her to bring more individuality to her interpretations.  The plaintive ballad ‘Something In The Way’ is very good, with an emotional vocal bringing out the protagonist’s melancholy as she tries but fails to get over her ex.

The best song here is ‘Love Builds The Bridges (Pride Builds The Walls)’.  Patty Loveless’s version of this outstanding John Scott Sherrill song was one of my favourites of her recordings, and sets the bar just a little too high for Kristy to match up to.  Her version is still very well sung with some great fiddle in the arrangement, and the song itself is still wonderful, so I enjoyed it very much on its own terms.  It’s just not quite as sublime as Patty Loveless.

Almost as good a song, but one with no awkward comparisons, ‘Widow’s Whiskey’ is a sad story song about drinking and bereavement:

She’s too young to feel this old

She’s got too many years left on this earth to feel this cold

She never dreamed he’d leave her this way

Craving the taste of Widow’s whiskey

She fought him hard but he still won

That set of keys he pried from her hands might as well have been a gun

He left her crying in the tail lights and the dirt

With nothing for the hurt but Widow’s whiskey

Like a bullet from the barrel it goes straight to her head

She won’t stop until that bottle is as empty as her bed

Just as long as it’s running through her veins

He’ll show up each night to hold her tight and ease the pain

That’s why she thinks that’s why she drinks Widow’s whiskey

Another mournful ballad about lost love, ‘I’ll Cry Tonight’ is also pretty good.

‘When It Comes To You’ is a lovely duet with her producer about a couple who know it’s over, but are still struggling to make the final break.

‘This’ is a pleasant but slightly dull ballad about finding love.  The closing ‘My Favorite Hour’ makes a reflective ending to an excellent album with much to appeal to lovers of bluegrass and acoustic country music.

Grade: A