CYNDIE HASTYA little bit too slurry to slip into the ol' sensitive singer songwriter pigeonhole, this Bible-belt belter filters Rickie Lee Jones-styled cool through a mesh of kudzu. When the songs connect, they're simultaneously stinging and soothing, like a morning wave off the Atlantic.
AMG EXPERT REVIEW Cyndie Hasty's Temptation is a gritty, soulful mix of folk, R&B, and roots rock that conveys deeply personal lyrics with irresistibly catchy melodies via organic arrangements. Her confessional narratives probe the human condition as it relates to love, deception, indulgence, and seduction. With ace guitarist Karlus Trapp by her side, Hasty faces the trials of failed romance ("Crazy Old Soul," "One Day"), desire ("Thinking About You"), and redemption ("Say It Again") with courage and tenacity. Utilizing the sparse instrumentation to her advantage, Hasty invigorates this intimate song cycle with the boogie-woogie romp "Crossing the Land," stretching her piano chops and trading spirited licks with Trapp, and the bittersweet bluesy "Honey Please Forgive," starring the quasi-fictional characters Jim and Tammy. The most alluring cut on this collection is the elusive country-waltz "Come Dance With Me," featuring Michael Levine on violin, which derives its storyline from the James Purdy novel "In a Shallow Grave," detailing the indeterminate sexual ambitions of a young soldier. Every track on Temptation displays Hasty's stellar song-craft, impassioned delivery, and instrumental expertise. She's managed to avoid the clichés that prevent many folk-rock singer/songwriters from achieving commercial success with an album that could easily cross over into the mainstream.
Hasty's most appealing trait is her deep, slightly husky voice. Most of the songs on the self-released Temptation only feature acoustic guitar and/or piano, and they amble gently along. The title track owes a big debt to Laura Nyro, but frankly, there are worse people to look up to.
What's special about this CD is the variety of music on it. Cyndie Hasty goes through many musical transfor- mations. The opening song, "Thinking About You," is done acoustically. It and "Crazy Old Soul" have the vocal stylings of Melissa Etheridge, rough and jagged, but soft underneath. The CD shifts when we get to "Temptation." Cyndie sings the song alone with the piano, with pain in her voice that screams for your understanding. "Crossing The Land" is a 1950s-style rockabilly song that's a fun listen. Cyndie's vocal and harmonies stay rich and fresh throughout. Her talent is well-established in this collection of songs. Kimberly Schedel
Cyndie Hasty Temptation © Kenjamin Music From this southern belle comes tales of love and loss, via her voice and piano. The tracks are simple, sometimes just piano and guitar, sometimes no piano, sometimes no guitar. The lack of percussion gives a folksy feel, and makes you concentrate on the songs, while the piano gives it that smoky cabaret thing. The songs are bluesy and folky, "Come and Dance With Me" and "Long Gone Now," the former almost Appalachian, the latter sounding like coffeehouse Indigo Girls without the embittered dyke attitude. One of the better cuts is "Honey, Please Forgive," which features Karlus Trapp playing a nice slide guitar.
Bill Ribas
Cyndie Hasty
Temptation © Kenjamin Music
Writing about love isn't quite like dancing about architecture, but it's close. Singer/songwriter Cyndie Hasty tries wrapping her arms around our most ephemeral a n d elusive emotion from a country-inflected perspective. On Temptation, her second CD, Hasty takes on several personas in songs that unfold like mini-short stories on this 12-track quest, from the regretful philosopher, to the one betrayed, to the vengeful one left behind. Best offering is her stellar, bluesy "Honey, Please Forgive." Its snaky guitar runs, fine piano and Hasty's earnest vocals combine for a shiver-inducing sincerity. Mostly a husky-voiced crooner, Hasty doesn't shy away from kicking it up a couple of notches in the foot-stompin' "Crossing the Land." Fred Kraus