Rachel McIntyre Smith – Glory Daze EP
This young lady is clearly a vocal descendent of Allison Krauss with a gentle country-sweet toned innocent approach. Her intonation is beautiful & she makes the lyrics resonate with feeling. At first, I thought this would be another independent effort that would be good but like so many cookie-cutter performers. Not so.
East Tennessee’s Rachel McIntyre Smith’s “Glory Daze,” has good lines (“I moved away but never moved on”). It’s not always prophetic but it is impactful for a young woman. She has exceptional tonality & that’s what’s appealing. Despite a youthful Krauss-honeyed voice, this is a mature performance with a voice that has more clarity than just twang.
The debut EP Glory Daze (Drops Sept 30–Independent) is a great introduction to a talented singer — with 6 well-produced songs by Dran Michael. All songs are Smith originals.
There are some pop-country swipes ala 60s country hits found in “Queen of Our Hometown,” which is instant ear-candy. But it’s done with country flavor & finesse. It’s not a novelty song. The melody is a bit nostalgic if it wraps around the ears of an older listener.
The true country vocalizing is in abundance but there’s no silly twangy old-timey approach to these songs. She hits her notes with color & vibrancy. Nothing over-cooked. “The Woulds,” is fairly cool how Rachel unveils each line in the song.
Unfortunately, I don’t agree with colleagues – I don’t hear the comparisons to Dolly Parton. Rachel isn’t that rambunctious, but she does have Parton’s personality in some vocalizing (“First Love”) which also hovers near the style of Sally Oldfield in its dreamy state.
Brandi Carlile is more contemporary/mainstream. I’ll stick to my respectful comparison with Allison Krauss. The similar phrasing, tonality & approach. The difference? Krauss is more bluegrass than Smith. But that’s just a course correction.
Linda Ronstadt, however, was a country-rock singer with superb pipes. That’s obvious with the rock-sparkle of Ms. Smith’s “Miss Highfalutin’” — a wonderful tune despite juvenile lyrics. The song possesses a nice acoustic guitar solo, steel guitar follow-up & has drive. Rachel’s voice soars here. Reminds me of New Zealand’s great, young country singer Jenny Mitchell. They would compliment one another.
I like the explorations Rachel takes. She has a younger person’s perspective, but she sings with experience & in some spots authority. Her schtick right now is the young high school girl with angst, low-self-esteem, topics young people relate to. Which is good. But once she moves on to more serious topics she’ll be even more impressive. I have confidence. An impressive accomplishment.
Laud Vaught (drums – 2 tracks) & Andy Ellison (steel guitar – 4 songs).
Photo from Rachel’s website. CD @ https://www.rachelmcintyresmith.com/