Mindy Smith One Moment More

Mindy Smith One Moment More
Having the honour of singing "Jolene” on the recent Dolly Parton tribute album, Just Because I’m A Woman, seemed a sure sign that Smith would soon be Nashville’s next sure bet at a country-rock crossover, and this debut album covers all the bases. However, what is initially most intriguing about the Long Island native’s songs is the strong spiritual element that runs through them. It turns out Smith attended bible school throughout her teenage years, but that doesn’t mean she led a sheltered life. The opener, "Come To Jesus,” resounds with the conviction of a lost soul longing to be saved. This track hints that Smith has taken several valuable lessons from Gillian Welch, but unfortunately, things go in several different directions thereafter. Mostly, it all hangs together with a degree of consistency as Smith balances straightforward folk ("Falling,” "Raggedy Ann”) with more driving, Lucinda Williams-type rockers ("Train Song,” "Fighting For It All”). For some, the balance might slip too often toward the quieter material, but Smith’s unpolished delivery is always a refreshing change from the usual Nashville assembly line output. There may not be another song on the album that reaches the same dark, powerful heights of "Come To Jesus,” but as long as she stays away from writing more songs like the overtly sappy "Angel Doves,” the album’s only misstep, Smith should have a lot of room to grow in the near future. A fine debut. (Vanguard)