Connie Mims ‘Gettin’ There’ – CD Review
There always seems to be a positive energy attached to Connie Mims and the music she creates. The award winning Houston-based singer/songwriter shows off that side, and more in her new CD, 'Gettin' There'.
The twelve-track CD is everything that you might expect from Connie Mims. The 2009 Texas Music Award winner for 'Singer/Songwriter of the Year' is nominated for the same award this year (and the title track to 'Gettin' There' is nominated for 2013 TMA 'Song of the Year'). Great lyrics, seemingly effortless vocals, and she's surrounded with great players that include the likes of Lloyd Maines, Chad Ware, Gene Elders and several others. A tip of the cap is also in order for 'Gettin' There' producer, Ren Renfree, who managed to take a lot of moving parts and synchronize them very nicely. There's a lot of talent on this CD, but getting it all to come together is no small task.
The opening track, 'If You Could See My Love', starts 'Gettin' There' off with a positive, happy, up-tempo beat. If you're looking for country music on this CD, you'll find it here. Take a listen:
Connie describes 'When I Call You Mine' as a an "easy-going, wistful tune you can whistle to". No disagreement here. Maines on the dobro and Chris Gage on accordion compliment this song perfectly.
'I Can't Love You Anymore' has more attitude and edge than the rest of the album put together.
Call it quittin' if you want to
Call it givin' up on us
Love that's made of smoke & mirrors
Ain't no love I can trust
You can call it what you need to
I can't love you anymore
I loved you good, You loved me bad
I was the only solid ground you ever had
I tried my best, You crossed the line
Go fight your demons on your own time
The story in 'Bad Weather' is a fun, playful, romantic tune with the hook "A little bad weather sounds pretty good to me". Catchy. Kudos to Gene Elders on the fiddle on this one, as well as Mims, who channels her raspy, soulful side vocally. Sometimes you can listen to a CD and guess the artists favorite to play live. I'm willing to bet 'Bad Weather' and 'If You Could See My Love' are a couple of Connie's favorites to play on stage from this album.
'Gettin' In' shows off the reason Connie Mims is a Singer/Songwriter of the Year award winner. The lyrics aren't slick, they're clever, casual and natural. Nothing ever seems forced with any of Connie's songs, and 'Gettin' In' might be my favorite example on this CD:
'Gettin' There' sends the message that 'half the fun is gettin' there'. It's easy to understand why this was chosen as the title track.This song is a nice representation of the entire CD, and worthy of the Texas Music Awards 'Song of the Year' nomination.
Here's a full track list of Connie Mims, 'Gettin' There':
1 - 'If You Could See My Love'
2 - 'When I Called You Mine'
3 - 'I Can't Love You Anymore'
4 - 'Bad Weather'
5 - 'Gettin' In'
6 - 'Weathervane'
7 - 'Gettin' There'
8 - 'Paint'
9 - 'After a Storm'
10 - 'Doc Loved Jean'
11 - 'Grace of the Rio Grande'
12 - 'Three Angels'
Whenever I hear Connie Mims' music, I think of Henry David Thoreau. Not the Thoreau that resisted government and wrote 'Civil Disobedience', but the one who authored 'Walden', the book that reflects on relaxation and simple living in natural surroundings. Mims' songs are simple, easy to listen to, and I find myself taking several deep breaths as I listen. There's no unnecessary noise cluttering the music and the message. Connie's songs take the sounds they need and leave everything else out.
As an outsider to the Houston music scene, I find it easy to observe that there is a distinctive sound coming from the region. The likes of Mims, Brian Kalinek, Danny Everett, Mark Zeus and several others have fed it, creating a great mix of country, Americana and folk that focuses heavily on their terrific songwriting. They're very supportive of one another to a point that it comes as no shock when they show up on each others' albums.