Australian 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.