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Mindy Smith
Long Island Shores
Vanguard Records

Modern country artist Mindy Smith established herself as a melodic folk pop songwriter with her debut album One Moment More in 2004. Maintaining the tenets of her signature soft flowing pastorals and graceful vocals, Smith has returned with her second endeavor, Long Island Shores, which takes the listener through her journey from living on Long Island to settling in Nashville, Tennessee.

Born in Smithtown, Long Island, Smith made the move to Tennessee after college and her mother's passing. One Moment More's songs grapple with her emotions dealing with the loss of her mother but the new material deals with what has been happening to her ever since. Though many numbers have reflections of the acoustic country/folk creeds she displayed on her debut album, shown in songs like "Peace Of Mind," "Out Of Control" and "Please Stay," she also stretches out her wings, demonstrating elements of bluegrass, jazz, classic blues, and country rock.

The classic acoustic folk clasps on the opening track "Out Loud" have a heavenly resonance sustaining an Alison Krauss latitude. The melodies float with gorgeous fluid tones and silky keys like on the modern country ballads "Edge Of Love" and "You Just Forgot." The tune "Little Devil" dips into darker, more melancholic ethers with embroiling mandolin verses that pour like a Robinella lava. The sparse acoustic guitar paddling and vocal melody of "Tennessee" have hints of bluegrass along the melodic country lines. The willowy, haunting notes and timbers of "I'm Not The Only One Asking" is lit by wicked guitar strokes taking on a Van Zandt depth.

The duet of Smith and bluegrass crooner Buddy Miller "What If The World Stops Turning" has a country/folk swelling similar to the Alison Krauss' and James Taylor's duet for "How's The World Treating You." The acoustic country mounds touched up by jazz overtures on "You Know I Love You Baby" injects the movements with some lightly traipsed hip hop steps. But it's the sweet, downy violins hovering on the title track along bluesy toned vocals that bring out warm breezes reminiscent of Rory Block on the album.

Mindy Smith's latest release further probes into her love of melodic folk and country staves and nips at complementary aspects of jazz, country rock, and classic blues. There is a sense that she has not reached her full bloom with this album, but the pleasing aesthetics of Long Island Shores are too persuasive to let this one go by without taking in its cleansing laps.

-Susan Frances

Track Listing:
1. Out Loud
2. Little Devil
3. Edge Of Love
4. Please Stay
5. Tennessee
6. I'm Not The Only One Asking
7. What If The World Stops Turning
8. You Just Forgot
9. You Know I Love You Baby
10. Out Of Control
11. Long Island Shores
12. Peace Of Mind

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