Cindy G wasn’t content to make her follow up to 2015’s Jail Break as good as its predecessor. She wanted to pull out all the stops and give her fans as much of herself as she could, and I think that anyone who gives Moonshiner’s Daughter a spin this fall are going to be able to hear her efforts in its melody. Divided into twelve equally gripping tracks, Moonshiner’s Daughter is a cathartic expression of bluegrass grit meshed with roots rocking passion, but above all it showcases a songwriter at the top of her game and not afraid to boast over it.
I became a Cindy G fan after Jail Break and subsequently expected a lot out of this album. I certainly wasn’t let down by songs like “Heiress,” which capture the reason why I fell for her signature vocal style to begin with. Even when she’s singing with other people, Cindy G’s voice steals the spotlight away from everything else going on in the background. She hypnotizes us with her melody and wraps us around her finger like a thin piece of fabric. “Heiress” gives up one of the best string arrangements on the record, but without its singer’s voice it wouldn’t be the magical juggernaut that it is.
If its romantic footloose balladry that you’re looking for, Cindy G has you covered with “Love Train,” which I think could have been the leadoff single for Moonshiner’s Daughter. Airtight guitar and fiddle dueling is the bread and butter of this album (and really any decent bluegrass record), and this song boasts one of the more calculated blueprints you’ll find in modern music. Cindy’s smoky voice corners us at the start and doesn’t give us anywhere to run other than into the warm, tender embrace of her song.
“Two Feet on the Floor” provides a quintessential shot of adrenaline to the back half of Moonshiner’s Daughter that is almost guaranteed to leave listeners wishing for a thirteenth track, but it does so much more than close out the album on a high note. “Two Feet” in a lot of ways culminates all of the emotion – both positive and negative – that’s wages a war in the band’s instrumentation early on in the album. Though not designed to be a progressive piece, this track brings Moonshiner’s Daughter full circle lyrically and sonically, something that other artists often struggle with in their LPs.
Reflective in spirit and full of rich vitality, Cindy G’s latest album has something to appeal to all tastes if you look close enough. A lot of artists try and make records that are tailored for the audience that has come to celebrate them the most, but because of her diverse professional background Cindy G isn’t restricted to the parameters of scene politics in the same way that her peers are. She makes music for the people, not the market that they generate, and her creative ethos have kept her work uninfluenced by the commercialism of the music industry. Do yourself a favor and check out Moonshiner’s Daughter – you won’t regret it.