Mindy Smith

Record Review

Phases and Stages

Mindy Smith

One Moment More (Vanguard) The music Mindy Smith makes can't quite be pigeonholed, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have any competition. One Moment More, the Nashville transplant's debut, evokes names like Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Norah Jones, Alison Krauss, and Kasey Chambers. Like those artists, Smith crafts crystalline country/folk/bluegrass/pop music. Unfortunately, most of the time what she does is indistinguishable from her musical peers. Of course that won't be a problem for a certain demographic, but singer-songwriters in particular need to develop their own voices. With One Moment More being Smith's debut, the chances of her having solidified her artistic persona are slim. Not that the disc doesn't possess some surprising moments. "Hard to Know" builds to a fiery rage, there's a killer refrain on "Fighting for it All," and the Southern Gothic opener, "Come to Jesus," is her best tune; all are presented with an impressive amount of confidence for a rookie. Even with the help she gets from some of Nashville's best players, Smith has crafted an effort that shows promise, but is generally generic. (Mindy Smith plays Shady Grove Thursday, April 22.)

**

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