One of the key early figures in the '80s New York Anti-folk movement, singer and songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill's music combines a deeply personal point of view and an edgy wit leavened with a compassion for the world around her. After her first two albums she became involved with and married, Paul Williams, the influential rock writer and founder of the magazine Crawdaddy. In 2017, she returned with The Adventurist, her first album in a decade and first since the passing of her husband. The Adventurist has made it to the top ten of many best of 2017 lists.
Vocalist, singer/songwriter, and guitarist Syd Straw first made a name for herself as part of the Golden Palominos, a band led by Anton Fier that enjoyed a cult following in the 1980s. Her Capricorn Records debut, War and Peace, was released in 1996, and since then, her unique blend of folk-rock and blues-rock has found a home with Triple A (adult album alternative) radio stations and their audiences around the country. Straw released Surprise in 1990 to good reviews. That recording chronicled Straw's emergence as a songwriter; she had thought of herself primarily as a song interpreter before that. On Surprise, Straw was joined by Michael Stipe (R.E.M.), John Doe (X), Ry Cooder, Daniel Lanois, Don Was, Richard Thompson, and Marshall Crenshaw. Straw is an enormously gifted vocalist and songwriter who has her own distinct musical vision, as evidenced on her self-produced War and Peace. That vision is a rootsy one, with lots of country and blues influences. The 14 originals on the record prove it. Although she didn't set out to, she also plays rhythm guitar on many of the tracks on the album. Straw says with the biography accompanying War and Peace that she doesn't see the album as a "comeback'' at all, "because things have been constantly busy and changing for me since Surprise came out. But I really threw myself into the new record in a way that I haven't been inspired to do for a long time.'' Great records and a wider following are in the offing for this unique, multi-genre vocalist and songwriter.
“****(4 stars)The Adventurist is a fascinating record, packed with personality"- ABC News