MINDY SMITH Long Island Shores (Vanguard)
Long Island Shores is the second album by a Nashville-based singer/songwriter blessed with a honeyed voice that oozes and slides gloriously over gently countrified songs spiked with just a hint of bluegrass (its the banjos). Its a sumptuous listen, the impeccably crafted material immaculately produced, with unobtrusive cameos from the likes of Buddy Miller, Bryan Sutton and Beth Nielson Chapman, who co-writes Edge Of Love.
The ambient backwash behind Tennessee harks back to Scott Litts work with R.E.M., or any number of Eno/Lanois productions, and the percussive thumps that drive You Just Forgot patrol a huge acoustic. You Know I Love You Baby is nudged, ever so gently, in a jazzier direction, and the title tracks folksy nostalgia comes across as a luxuriously upholstered Hickory Wind. Arguably the albums highlight, What If The World Stops Turning, a duet with Buddy Miller, is a delicious bundle of easygoing romance, woven together by a whistling synth line.
Long Island Shores doesnt trade in shocks or surprises, but its a lovingly assembled escapist listen, as gentle and honest as it is sophisticated.