Kristy Cox has a beautiful, clear voice. No hint of twang, no drawl or other regional inflections so many singers have. Cox has a pure voice much like Crystal Gayle, but instead of Gayle's midwestern roots, Cox comes to us from Australia. She is an accomplished artist there, named 2013 Capital News Australian Independent Female Vocalist of the Year Award and winning several Victorian & National Country Music Awards. This outing is more acoustic country than bluegrass, but it's music much of the bluegrass crowd can enjoy.
"Love Builds The Bridges" was a Patty Loveless hit that loses nothing in an acoustic translation. "Widow's Whiskey" is a song of loss and sorrow while "When It Comes To You," co-written by Cox and producer Jerry Salley, is a great shuffle-beat song that they sing together. Her backup musicians are all well known on the bluegrass circuit, including Mike Bub showing his usual great taste on bass and Darren Nicholson (Balsam Range, Audie Blaylock) playing mandolin. Steve Sutton (Rhonda Vincent) gets a workout on the banjo on "You're My Kind of Train Wreck" while Stephen Mougin (Sam Bush) helps kick off "I'll Cry Tonight," a number that sounds like "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive" in many passages. The band is rounded out by Davis Johnson playing fiddle and resonator guitar.
You may wonder about her target demographic because it's too country for what radio stations call country these days—how much acoustic country are you hearing?—and too country for bluegrass purists despite Sutton's excellent banjo work. If you fit somewhere between those two ends of the scale, you'll enjoy every minute of "This" new CD.