CD Review – Molly McGinn – Girl with Slingshot

Some artist produce “Americana” music in a spirit that is akin to a gumbo or a stew. A medley of accompanying flavors melding together into something that is definitely more than the sum of it’s parts. Dodge City, Kansas native and current Greensboro, North Carolina resident Molly McGinn‘s pedigree through her musical career has covered everything from jam-band to ska and reggae, so it’s not surprising MS. McGinn’s take on Americana, “Girl with Slingshot” (dotmatrix) utilizes these influences in a recipe that works to great and surprising effect.

Ms. McGinn is a vocalist with a style that is an equal blend of cool urbanite and earnestly sincere Southern girl. An example of the former is exhibited in the first cut Kill Devil Hills, a smooth folk-jazz snapshot of life which is delivered with a hep scat-like staccato and cloaked in a reverb drenched vibe. The latter comes though in the lovely slide guitar paired gospel-country tune “Preacher and Thieves” which is a song that would have easily for in Neko Case’s earlier Southern-gothic catalog .

“Bad Jokes and Blues” takes me to a smoky L.A. beat-club circa 1967 and offers one of the best one-liners I’ve heard in a song about love “Please don’t dull my eccentricities.” “Beautiful Ugly Man” sound like a funky beat-box rave up with a Suzanne Vega at the helm. Intimate and literate lyrics wrapped in poignant and sophisticated arraignments that never leaves you cold.

Molly McGinn is not an easy artist to pin down and her Jedi-like genre bending seems natural and not contrived or clever. I believe she is a talent to watch.

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