The road she's traveled
inspires Mindy Jostyn's cd, Cedar Lane
Cedar Lane, (Palmetto Records) the latest recording from Mindy Jostyn, is a
broad avenue whose course provides an effortless passage from one inspired locale to
another. With a keen instinct for storytelling, the songs of Cedar Lane explore the themes
of home, history, love and humor in a pop/folk, worldly-wise manner. These are the songs
of a woman who started out just wanting to "play with the boys - " Now the boys
want to play with her.
Modeling the spirit of this recording with the experience of her live performances,
Mindy plays most of the instruments on the cd herself. This impressive list includes the
violin, harmonica, mandolin, piano, accordion, guitar and vocals. Joining Mindy is Matt
Balitsaris on electric and acoustic guitar, Paul Adamy on bass, Jeff Berman on drums and
percussion, David Finck on string bass, and guest Tony Trishka on banjo.
Collaborator Jacob Brackman is co-lyricist with Mindy on Cedar Lane save the
exceptional Billy Sherill tune "Too Far Gone." Prior to working with Mindy,
Brackrnan's musical collaborators included Jerry Ragavoy, James Taylor, Dr. John, Steve
Winwood and Carly Simon, with whom he wrote the hits "That's the Way I've Always
Heard it Should Be" and "Haven't Got Time for the Pain, " and the libretto
for the opera 'Romulus Hunt." His songs have also been recorded by Dionne Warwick,
Sara Vaughan and Fred Astaire, among others. He was lyricist for the Broadway musical,
"King of Hearts."
Described as an "explosion of talent", Mindy Jostyn's art is an unpresuming
pleasure. Her ironic "Other Guy's Girls" starts out the record and showcases her
remarkable prowess on the harmonica along with the irreverent and humorous "Trouble I
Don't Need." " Calamity Jane" and "Cedar Lane" are stunning
mid-tempo ballads that evoke and fix our attention on a distant time and faraway dreams.
Echoes from great singer-songwriters and stylists who have had an influence on Jostyn
(including Joni Mitchell, George Jones and Lorenna McKennitt) can be heard on the
soul-searching love songs, "So Fragile",and "That Was Then" along with
the jazz and blues infused "Looking for Jesus Again" and "I'll Thank You
Some Day." With striking lyrics and inspired melodies, these songs linger -- long
past the suburban lights on Cedar Lane.
Reviews: Cedar Lane
"From the opening track of her new
album, "Cedar Lane", singer-songwriter Mindy
Jostyn appears to be an ideal choice to accompany the
Brothers on the road. After blowing harmonica over a
blues shuffle, she looks at the ease with which other
women get along with men, sounding more bewildered than
envious: "I see 'em on the street, see 'em in the
park, see 'em promenading in the shopping malls, a little
too neat, a little too sparky, they look like a squadron
of Barbie dolls, those other guys girls." As the
album unfolds, Jostyn's gift as a writer of dreamy
musings ("I'll Thank You Someday"), topical
essays ("Power, Sex and Money") and torchy
ballads ("Too Far Gone") become increasingly
apparent and point to a very promising future."
-- Mike Joyce, Washington Post, Friday May 9th, 1997
"Mindy Jostyn made her mark playing fiddle and harmonica with John
Mellencamp, Billy Joel, and the Hooters. Judging from her new
Palmetto CD 'Cedar Lane,' she is also among the most exciting
songwriters to emerge in some time. Her funny
satires have a knack for making points without pointing fingers;
her bailads reveal a poet's aim for life's revealing little moments.
Everything is delivered with sparkling musicality and an emotional
-- Scott Alarik, Boston Globe, May 28th, 1997
"On cedar Lane (Palmetto), Mindy Jostyn writes songs ranging from
hilarious to poignant, sings them with subtle conviction and plays
a mean harmonica. She doesn't sing about the ideal lover. She
sings about the gap between ideal and reality, which is always
enough to break your heart if you aren't laughing. The title song
chronicles the escape from and return to the middle class that
so many Alien Ginsberg fans have made. Better to have escaped and
lost than never to have escaped at all."
--Charles M. Young, Playboy, November, 1997
"In the title cut of her second
CD, Mindy Jostyn sings of the predictability of life on "Cedar Lane."
But the music is anything but predictabte. The muiti-instrumentalist
strums and picks, bows, and blows through blues, folk, pop, talking
blues, jazz, and more while her vocals range from little-girl-sweet
through bad-girl-growl, innocent and soft, to torchy sizzle.
And all with a competence that easily explains the
demand for Jostyn to play with some of the household names of pop.
While the upbeat "Power, Sex, and Money" and "Other Guy's Girls"
may grab your attention first, it's the ballads such as
"So Fragile, I'll Thank You Someday," and "Too Far Gone" that
will keep you coming back."
-- Jef Scoville, The Christian Science Monitor, August 27th, 1997