REVIEW: Cidny Bullens “Walkin’ Through This World”  is Brave, Courageous Storytelling

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Cidny Bullens – Walkin’ Through This World  

I review music – so, the transgender topic is of no concern. I loved Grammy-Award nominated Cindy Bullens in the past, saw her live with The Refugees twice, & I’ll love Cidny Bullens just as much.

Nothing has happened to the talent & musicianship. It’s still there. Will it take a little getting used to? For some, yes. I know it’ll take time for me because I found the music of Cindy so endearing. Her LP “Somewhere Between Heaven & Earth” (1999) a star-studded tribute to her late daughter Jessie is a Desert Island disc for me. Poignant beautiful songs like “In Better Hands,” “As Long as You Love,” “Better Than I’ve Ever Been,” & on Neverland (2003) “The Right Kind of Goodbye.” Powerful.

But I have faith. I believe Cidny Bullens will continue in that tradition. I’ll be fine with the new approach. There will be excitement. If it took such drastic measures to make one happy with themselves – maybe the music is worth listening to. In one lyric “I’m walkin’ through this world/as exactly who I am.” How many can say that?

So, again as in the past, Cidny has marvelous support from sizzling musicians on his first 10-track transformational LP “Walkin’ Through This World” (drops Aug 21 – Blue Lobster Records).  The LP does relate the story of the gender transition with brave, courageous lyrics & storytelling that radiates. There’s nothing objectionable. No pontificating. No politics. It must have been scary, it’s filled with a past life of rock & roll wonder, tragedy & memories that are important.

Producer Ray Kennedy (Rickenbacker electric 12-string) joins on “Little Pieces,” & it maintains the Bullens quality — evident in the songwriting. The voice is a little rougher, has its own genuine poignancy, but vocally it has an attractive impact.

Kennedy plays lead guitar with a nice gnarly feel on “Purgatory Road,” that has a soulful groove & percolates slowly as Bullens puts forward his new Steve Earle tinged vocal.

Collaborations & vocals with many artists can be found in the credits. The band: George Marinelli (electric/lead/slide guitar), Cidny (vocals/acoustic guitar/rhythm/ mandolin/synth, harmonica/ electric sitar), Mark T. Jordan (keyboards), Steve Mackey (bass), Lynn Williams (drums), & Ray Kennedy (lead/ acoustic guitar/percussion).

The title track cruises melodically with excellent backup by Mary Gauthier, Beth Nielson Chapman, Bill Lloyd, Jess Leary, Michael Kelsh & Siobahn Kennedy. Rodney Crowell joins Cidny on “The Gender Line,” her partner in The Refugees Deborah Holland sings with Bullens on “Sugartown.”

Continuing with poignancy “Laugh in the Rain” is a haunting melody. Cidny’s harmonica, Siobahn Kennedy’s accompanying voice, & a weeping guitar creates another Bullen’s beauty.

There isn’t a single souffle that fell in this oven. Cidny Bullens’ new music comes through for anyone who loves music. I’ll remember Cindy Bullens but not mourn her. I’ll celebrate the musical birth of Cidny Bullens. As exactly who he is. Welcome.

The 44-minute CD: produced by Kennedy & Cidny. Available at Amazon & CD Baby. https://www.cidnybullens.com/

 

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