Simple & Few
'There was a point in which I found myself completely spellbound - unaware of the time...The people responsible for this moment of suspended animation were singer-songwriter Cindy Woolf and Mark Bilyeu, who was backing the 25-year-old with delicate lead guitar lines and harmony vocals. Something special happens when these two get together. It's not just something you can hear, but something you can feel...angelic delivery... an appealing sense of wonder...Woolf has a heart for roots music, but she also has a knack for making her songs sound relevant.' ~Mike Brothers, News-Leader Cindy Woolf's voice, once you hear it, is not one you are likely to forget. Do not think for a minute that the rural accent that comes through her high, crystal-clear tone is contrived. Cindy Woolf was born in North Little Rock, but spent most of her formative years in Batesville, Arkansas. She grew up singing with her family in church, learning to sing harmony by ear and absorbing her daddy's bluegrass records. 3 Apples High, a punk band she formed with two girlfriends in high school, didn't last long, but certainly demonstrated that there was more to this budding musician than hymns. After moving to Springfield, Missouri to attend college she started playing a weekly gig downtown at the Bar Next Door, singing bluegrass standards and singer-songwriter standouts and getting noticed by her musical peers, among them producer/guitarist Mark Bilyeu, who encouraged her to record an album of original material. After relocating to Portland, Oregon, she returned to Springfield for two weeks to do just that, resulting in the 10 originals and two covers on her debut CD Simple and Few. Cindy kept the recording sessions sparse and largely acoustic, drawing help from friends and label mates including Bilyeu (Big Smith), Reed Herron (Speakeasy), David Wilson (Radio Flyer), Dave Harp (Arkamo Rangers), Dallas Jones, Brandon Moore and Molly Healey (Moore-Healey). She ventured beyond the traditional sounds that earned her reputation to put forth her more gentle and atmospheric songs that would sit comfortably next to your Iron and Wine LPs or even your old Sundays CDs. The inspiration for songs like the sisterly 'Dearest Pearl' hearkens back not only to her native Arkansas but also a couple of generations, with pieces of lyrics directly transcribed from her grandmother's diary. Simple and Few does boast some bluegrass-flavored standouts, including Cindy's own 'Nobody's Wife.' But whether the songs are informed by the traditional, ethereal or surreal makes no difference. A sense of authenticity surrounds this young new artist, and it rings through, clear as a bell, on Simple and Few. As she continues to add new original songs to her set list, Cindy is pushing her music into new directions with the help of a veteran band of musicians, including Bilyeu on guitar, Bill Thomas on bass, and keyboardist Joe Terry and drummer Bobby Lloyd Hicks. Terry and Hicks both are both alumni of Midwest legends The Skeletons but can also be heard playing with Dave Alvin on tour and in the studio, most notably on the 2001 Grammy-award winning album Public Domain. For more intimate venues, she performs in a duo with guitarist Bilyeu.