10/26/2015

Folk Review: Cynthia Chitko-Days Gone By Remembered

Release Date: June 15, 2015
Label: Promotion Music Records

Cynthia Chitko is an artist with a deep emotional investment in her music. Days Gone by Remembered is Chitko’s sophomore album and reaches deeper into in a folk sound with country and Americana foundations. Songs of remembrance and focus on the family are rich with expressive elements, vocals and instrumentation. Artists on this album include Peter Phippen (Fender bass, William Hall & Son boxwood flute), Randy Sabien (violin, mandolin), Ivan Lunde Jr (frame drum, Rain FX), Robert Baca (trumpet), Terrence Karr (tabla drums) and of course Cynthia Chitko on acoustic guitar and vocals.

In an album that scrapes against the raw emotions of being human Days Gone by Remembered is a look into the fiber of the artist’s soul. One of the most striking pieces was “My Innocence”. It tells of a young girl whose innocence was stolen at the hands of someone very close to her. This piece will resonate with anyone who has ever had a similar experience. The pain suffered travels across time, even when the perpetrator dies. The acoustic guitar, frame drum and Fender bass blend with Cynthia’s seamless vocals to portray feels that most consider too difficult in general conversation, let alone a well-built song. This song is for all of us that have been wounded in such a way by the very people we trusted. Kudos to you Cynthia for your courage and forbearance. 

“Gray Rainy Day” begins with the natural sound of rain and morphs into melodious violin sequences. Chitko’s vocals resonate through the piece, paired with Fender bass, acoustic guitar and Rain FX. Memories are stirred by occasions but even as events happen both good and bad, life still goes on. 

Evoking the spirit of freedom, “Dance with Me Mata Hari” spirals into being. The Tabla drum, acoustic guitar, Fender bass and Chitko’s signature emotive vocals take the listener on a magic carpet ride. The wild and sensuous essence of the legendary spy and lover coaxes you to cast all your inhibitions to the wind and let yourself go. The rhythm and folk sounds of this piece make you want to throw back your hair and just do it. Step out of the box and let your flag fly high.

Days Gone By Remembered is an album rich with memories and textured sound. The human condition is a blend of joy and pain and Cynthia Chitko purveys that well by using voice and instrumentation to craft an organic experience. She and her contributing artists have brought the shadows of the past alive and they are dancing. If you enjoy folk music with a focus on human elements, I recommend this album.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: My Innocence, Dance With Me Mata Hari, Gray Rainy Day

Tracks:
 

01.Days Gone by Remembered
02.Stain on the Wood
03.Snake Eyes
04.My Innocence
05.Word
06.Whenever I See You
07.Gray Rainy Day
08.The Spirits Won't Let Me Be
09.Unfree
10.Dance With Me Mata Hari
11.Watching over You

 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
October 26, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review

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