To hear the music coming from the new, self-titled Tattletale Saints album, you wouldn’t think this duo of Cy Winstanley and Vanessa McGowan, were natives of New Zealand but grew up in Nashville, where they’re now based and where this album was recorded.  Crisp and harmony-laden country-flavored with healthy splashes of Americana and some jazzy undertones for good measure, this is about as good as it gets.

Opening with “Big City Women”, you’re automatically transported to a small-town Southern bar with the delicious twang and guitar strokes; the tempo is upbeat and you cannot help but revel in the good-time nature of the track whereas the second cut, “Sonoma County Wine” is much more of a country-rock kicker with peaks and valleys and tight vocal interplay between Mr. Winstanley and Ms. McGowan and listen at the end for some deadly riffing (!).  “Down The Road And Back Again” is a bit slower; darker and introspective with a soulful feel; “Kathleen” is gritty; structured with a classic chord pattern and “A Scarf Of Light” is slow, pretty and cinematic with its dramatic guitar crash opening.  “Little Richard Is Alive And Well In Nashville” is quiet; acoustic guitar and voice carry the song until piano, slide runs and stand-up bass help build the song without becoming overpowering and distracting – a very proper way to close out this set.

Ten songs, all of high quality in terms of production and certainly of writing and performance.  Two albums good and now I’d like to see where Tattletale Saints go from here, because they have a lot more to give.


Tattletale Saints is available now


About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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