Tuesday, April 29, 2008

MINDY McCREADY Out of Jail, Back in News

Congrats to Mindy, sprung from jail and now enjoying Spring. Let's not be too cynical and say she's gone from the frying pain into the fire...just because she's been accused as Roger Clemens' mistress, and nobody knows about her new "download only" album. Perhaps all the publicity (and current denials) of bedding Roger at just 15 and carrying on a ten-year relationship, will get her music back on C&W radio.

McCready's new album is a "download only," and indie. Momentum will be slow. She'll see pennies in royalties since the percentage an artist gets via mp3 file is even worse than it was in the vinyl era. Without a major label's publicist or booking agent, she won't get decent gigs or hear her stuff on the radio, or have it shopped to the folks who use music on TV soundtracks.

She also gets nothing from the download here, but at least only one is being offered. The choice was tough; while "I've Got a Feeling" is catchy, and "For a Good Time Call" is typical of Mindy's minxy side, the download is her ballad "Fine Art of Holding a Woman."

Why? Because it's a deceptive song. First you wonder if it's got a melody. Then you realize Mindy is a damn good singer to find it and breathe life into it. Unlike those "American Idol" types who think rattling their uvulas shows talent, Mindy demonstrates the real skills; smoothly hugging the minor key melody, using emotion over volume, and having the intuition to phrase a line and make it seem more than it is.

If you missed some of the drama in Mindy's life over the past few years, here's a brief timeline of what led up to her doing time:

August 5, 2004, arrested for faking a prescription to buy OxyContin; fined $4,000, sentenced to three years probation.
May 6, 2005, arrested for driving with a suspended license and DUI. She would've been better off if she was jailed because...
May 8, 2005, her ex-boyfriend allegedly broke into her house, and was charged with attempted murder and aggravated burglary.
July 22, 2005, found passed out from an intentional overdose of drugs washed down with alcohol. The attempted suicide was due to the strain of being charged with identity theft, "unlawful imprisonment" and fraud in connection with a murky incident in Arizona the week before. Also, she found out she was pregnant with her violent ex-boyfriend's child.
August 26, 2005, she was arrested for violating probation and visiting Tennessee without permission.
September 23, 2005, amid court proceedings, and trying to handle the problem of her pregnancy and meeting with her ex-boyfriend, she nearly overdosed on antidepressants.
July 19, 2006, she beat the DUI charge but was found guilty of driving with a suspended license. She responded to all of this by releasing a single, "Black and Blue," but there was no major label to take it on.
July 21, 2007, now arguing with her own mother, she's charged with battery on the woman, and resisting arrest. Free on bail, she's caught at an airport in Nashville for violating the terms of probation.
September 14, 2007 she's sentenced to jail.
September 19, 2007, Mindy is chronicled on the illfolks blog with a sample song.
December 30, 2007, she's released from jail.
March 4, 2008, Mindy releases "All for You," via download only, on Amazon.com. It consists mostly of older hits re-done fresh in the studio, but includes some new tracks, too.
April 28, 2008, the New York Daily News reports: "Roger Clemens carried on a decade-long affair with country star Mindy McCready, a romance that began when McCready was a 15-year-old aspiring singer performing in a karaoke bar and Clemens was a 28-year-old Red Sox ace and married father of two..." a charge a Clemens spokesman instantly denied.
April 29, 2008, Mindy becomes one of the very few to be profiled a second time on the illfolks blog.

Mindy McCready is as good a country-crossover singer as you'll find, from Crystal Gayle to Sara Evans and back. With the right material and the right breaks, Mindy just might stage a comeback, or at least be able to settle down and make a decent living in Branson with a few weeks on the road here and there.

We all download so much that we hear very little. In the days of radio, we might not realize a song was great until we heard it a few times and really got the melody and became familiar with the lyrics. If it doesn't hold you firmly the first time, give this one a second chance.

Mindy McCready The Fine Art of Holding a Woman.

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