Helene Cronin is prepping for the release of a new full-length studio album. It’s called Old Ghosts & Lost Causes and it drops on October 11th. But first, for those not yet familiar with the artist in question, a bit o’ background.
Cronin is a Texas singer-songwriter and musician. Her rockin’ resume includes two previous EPs, 2015’s Belong To The River and 2014’s Restless Heart. She says her most famous song is “Lucky Me” which she “based on a conversation with a soldier in the airport.”
The video for the song has garnered more than 132,000 views on YouTube, and has also scored her “appearances on national TV, for Medal of Honor events, USO functions and the NFL Denver Broncos.” She also won a 2018 New Folk Winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival. According to her website she also “spends time in Nashville where she writes for the commercial Country music market.”
Cronin’s signature sound is a mix of genres including Americana, country, and folk. (On this upcoming album you might even detect a bit o’ the blues.)
Old Ghosts & Lost Causes
Old Ghosts & Lost Causes is an album praised by other artists including Terri Hendrix. Hendrix said: “[Cronin] is one of the best artists I’ve heard in a long time.” Other sources praise her for her “thoughtful, top-shelf musicianship.”
Track by track
On this album, Cronin leads the way on vocals and guitar. She is backed by an assortment of other artists. They include Bobby Terry (steel, baritone, and acoustic guitars and mandolin), Gyron House (bass), Chad Cromwell (drums), Kenny Vaughn (electric and acoustic guitar), Heidi Newfield (harmonica and background vocals) and producer Matt King (background vocals).
The 11-track disc opens on the reflective first single, “Careless with a Heart.” Perhaps one of her most personal songs. it’s a quiet yet effective lead-in. Additionally, it’s a relatable song about the resilience of the human heart and insight that is perhaps nigh universal.
The second selection is the blues-tinged “Mean Bone.” Complete with a clever biblical reference, it was co-written with her novelist daughter Alexandra Cronin. The song poses the question: “What would happen if a person actually did have a “mean bone” in his or her body?”
Co-written with Scott Sean White, “Humankind” is a positive song-story about man’s “inherent desire to care for others.” The world would be a better place if people would be more like the characters in this touching tune.
“Devil I Know” was co-written with Scott Sean White and Deidre Thornell. It’s a fine example of their collaborative abilities. We all have a devil we know and sadly that devil is an all too significant part of our lives.
Co-written with Davis Corley, “Riding the Gray Line” is a song-story about a group of passengers traveling via bus. Yes, it’s been done before for sure. Still, this cut offers a unique perspective and therefore it works.
Things pick up on “El Camino Fly.” Co-composed with Dakota Jay, it’s a definite road trip tune.
“In a Kiss” stands as another example of what Cronin can do as a solo songwriter. It has an intimate, sexy feel and yet it somehow sounds like a great song for those little out-if-the-way venues too. This one earns “Critic’s Choice.”
“The Last Cowboy” might be overshadowed by the previous piece but it has its own identity and certainly sounds wonderfully sincere and personal. Certainly any “cowboy” would be touched to be the subject of this surprisingly intimate offering.
Next is “God Doesn’t.” This is a pretty, spiritual song about salvation. It’s got a nice message without proselytizing.
“Mongrels and Mutts” touches on the biology of being alive and no doubt empowers others and reminds us we’re not perfect. “No one’s top dog in this kennel.” No one.
The closing cut, performed solo by Cronin, is “Ghost.” It’s a folk ballad that was co-written with Davis Corley. The song tells the quiet tale of a recently dead husband whose spirit remains dedicated to his widow.
Overall, the album is a noteworthy, cohesive collection of material that amply demonstrates her skills as a songwriter and performer. She musically paints pictures that are oft’times both personal and universal. So check out Helene Cronin’s Old Ghosts & Lost Causes because “God Doesn’t” want you to miss it.