Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson
Following My Girl the River’s debut This Ain’t No Fairytale, their new album Cardinal in the Snow opens with an assured performance on “Something in the Water”, a deliciously melodic opener that provides nothing short of a showcase for Kris Wilkinson Hughes’ understated southern vocal, which remains the focal point throughout the songs on this album. The Louisiana-based singer explores her southern roots, alternating seamlessly between deep and soulful balladry, to the funky southern fried playfulness of “Hot Chicken”.
Under normal circumstances, the festive season would be avoided at all costs during the warm months, but the gorgeous “Christmas in July” is well placed here, the mood perfectly captured with all the nostalgia of a seasonal Fifties fireside hit. Joined by partner Joe Hughes, their daughter Ruby, Will Kimbrough, Juan Solorzano and Danny Mitchell, the arrangements remain uncluttered throughout Neilson Hubbard’s fine production, with each of the dozen songs delivered in a fresh and breezy manner, notably “Needy”, “I Try” and the title cut “Cardinal in the Snow”, whilst “Won’t Find Our Bones” smoulders in a southern haze, keeping the listener fully absorbed to the end.
Choice Track: Needy (NSV 501)