Kristy Cox- Part of Me review   Leave a comment


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Kristy Cox Part of Me (Pisgah Ridge)

Pursuing her bluegrass dream, Australian singer/songwriter Kristy Cox has now firmly established herself in North America.

Recently awarded with an Australian Golden Guitar for Bluegrass Recording of the Year, Cox’s new album Part of Me proves that the youthful performer is surrounded by a team focused on her success.

Recorded in Tennessee with Jerry Salley again producing, Cox’s extensive experience as a vocalist is evident on heart-worn material including “The Part of Me (That’s Still in Love With You.)” Sentimental perhaps, but not overwrought, and she certainly doesn’t over sing.

Like Rhonda Vincent, Cox is most successful with upbeat, driving material. “Baby, You Ain’t Baby Anymore,” previously recorded by Jett’s Creek, is as appealing as it is frivolous: a strong performance that is sure to be a live set favourite. “Your Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore” blends country and ‘grass quite well and is also memorable.

If one is looking for a song of significance, a stark rendition of Chris Stapleton’s modern standard, “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore” should do it. With previous recordings by the likes of James King and Volume Five as well as Stapleton on his award-winning Traveller set, most folks will have heard this number, and again Cox (along with Salley and guitarist Stephen Mougin) pulls this one close lending credibility to their performance.

“Little White Whiskey Lies” (co-written by Tammy Rogers and Salley) and the lead track “Another Weary Mile” should also be favourably received, while “William Henry Johnson” turns the table within the Little Willie oeuvre. “I’m No Stranger to This Lonesome Road” isn’t the greatest bluegrass tune ever written, but with its driving rhythm and swinging chorus, it stays with the listener.

Working with a core band, the album has a cohesive feel. In addition to Mougin, the band is comprised of Justin Moses (Dobro), Mike Bub (bass), Jason Roller (fiddle and mandolin), and Steve Sutton (banjo). Vocal harmonies are of the type more associated with country and pop music than bluegrass, ably offered by Jerry and Maggie Salley.

Part of Me is a very clean, slightly over-produced album (“You Love Never Grows Old” and “You Walked In” are a bit slick for my tastes) that holds up across its 37-minutes. Kristy Cox is a personable vocalist who has crafted a fine album of bluegrass, one that isn’t all that different from when we first encountered her with Breaking New Ground several years ago.

Thank you for visiting Fervor Coulee. I hope you are finding some music to investigate further, and I hope you will always buy your music: most of the artists featured at Fervor Coulee are of the independent type-there are few millionaires in roots music.

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