Pin It

Mary McGinniss, Red Tails and the Road 

Album Review

click to enlarge 250-cd-mary.jpg

(Self-released, CD)

On her second album, Burlington songwriter Mary McGinniss follows up her 2005 solo debut, Places in Between, with a series of loving tune poems written for family, friends, lovers and her hometown. Red Tails and the Road also documents McGinniss’ first collaboration with central Vermont recording engineer and multi-instrumentalist Kristina Stykos.

On many of the albums she has engineered in the past few years — Bow Thayer’s Shooting Arrows at the Moon, Brian Clark’s Solo Duo Trio and her own In the Earth’s Fading Light — Stykos has produced unadorned acoustic music that shows off the heart and the soul of the vocalists and their instruments. In the case of Mary McGinniss, that’s a great thing, because she has a rich singing voice, provides her own harmony, and accompanies herself on guitar and ukulele throughout Red Tails. Her playing is understated but solid. In other words, just enough to keep our attention on what’s most important: her insightful songwriting and luscious vocals.

On these songs, McGinniss writes about growing up in Burlington and other events and relationships that have shaped her life. There are songs about the pain of saying goodbye to parents, lovey lullabies for grandchildren, sweet love songs and even a song that asks, “Jesus Christ, what were you thinking?” Nine of the 12 selections on this disc are originals, two are jazz standards with uke accompaniment, and one is a composition by James McGinniss, Mary’s brother and a talented songwriter himself.

Red Tails and the Road is easy to listen to, but it certainly isn’t “easy listening.” McGinniss’ gently delivered words really count — the sentiments expressed have an iron core.

Mary McGinniss has been performing a series of CD-release house concerts in the area, and she sounds just as good in person as she does on this disc.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: , ,

Pin It

More by Robert Resnik

About The Author

Robert Resnik


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Albums

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2016 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation