Cynthia Gayneau

Postcards From My Mind – 1999 (Botte Music)

Reviewed by Eli Messinger

CDs by Cynthia Gayneau

While many roots acts pay tribute to country styles of yesteryear, few have voices so genuinely out-of-time as Cynthia Gayneau+s. Her blue crooning brings to mind Dee Lannon or Rosie Flores, with a touch of Iris Dement. But when backed by traditional fiddle and steel, cuts like "No Tears" could just as easily spring from a crackly 78 as a noiseless CD.

Which isn+t to suggest the Seattle resident and her band are die-hard traditionalists, eschewing all modern conveniences. "Counting Trains" pits Don Pawlak+s brilliant pedal-steel against echoing electric guitars, and Walter Cryderman picks a bassy blue guitar on "Sleepless Night."

Gayneau+s second LP balances amplified and acoustic numbers, ranging from Texas-flavored honky-tonk to mandolin-adorned folk. She sings weepy Nashville ballads and Latin-tinged country. Throughout, her singing and songwriting play upon classic country elements without reducing them to nostalgia. (Botte Music, Box 31784, Seattle, WA 98103)