Cindy Woolf - Before Daylight CD

sold out

Cindy Woolf - Before Daylight CD


Before Daylight CD (2009)


Review: Before Daylight, by Cindy Woolf

by thederosh

Cindy Woolf adds electricity, subtracts a record label and makes that most intimidating of musical things: The Second Album.

2005′s Simple and Few introduced one of local music’s most distinctive and endearing voices, in the embrace of music as accessible as it was skillfully played. For Cindy Woolf, it’s been a long road back to the starting line, so to speak. The ensuing years saw Woolf split from MayApple Records, then go through not one or two but three attempts to record the songs on her new album, Before Daylight. Three attempts to record the dreaded sophomore album?! It sounded like a surefire bad omen.

Put the questions to rest. Woolf has put together a second album at least as good as her first, and arguably, depending on one’s tastes, a better one. Here’s a vote for the latter. By going electric rather than acoustic, Woolf’s songs retain their inviting qualities and tunefulness without lulling anyone into a mellow-folk trance. It’s also a chance for Woolf to see what other backroads her songs can drive down: “Saturday In June,” for example, has an almost trippy pace and sound, which is a whole new frame for the colors her voice paints. “Sidewalk Stars” and “Portland East to Portland West,” on the other hand, are examples of Woolf’s bread-and-butter sweet songs that get an extra boost from the amplification. There’s a palpable comfort level with all of the songs, as well, due in part to the number of times Woolf and company have played and recorded them. Not only is this the third studio run-through for the songs, but Woolf has been playing them onstage for several years. A stellar cast of helpers, including MayApple friends Mark Bilyeu (guitar, backing vocals) and Molly Healey (violin, cello, lap steel guitar, vocals), doesn’t hurt, either.

The ultimate takeaway on Before Daylight, as with Simple and Few, is Woolf’s voice, which not only doesn’t sound overwhelmed by the buzzing electrics behind it but sounds right at home. Here, just as before, each song sounds like it was meant to be played for you on a graying wooden front porch swing as daylight fades. Or, as the album title suggests, before it arrives. It’s a good place to be either way.




Saturday in June

Come Home

Our Little Song

Sidewalk Stars

County Road

Portland East to Portland West

Born Under Greers Ferry Lake


Drive All Night

Add To Cart