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Artist:     Cindy Cashdollar

Album:     Waltz for Abilene

Label:     Silver Shot Records

Release Date:     02.21.2020

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You can tell the character of a person by the company she keeps. The same is true of a person’s talents. As one of the finest slide and steel guitarists around, Cindy Cashdollar has played alongside Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Dolly Parton, Van Morrison . . . and on and on. Her new release, Waltz for Abilene, is only her second solo effort in a long career, here joined by many of those friends, sitting in to return the favor.

Cashdollar is originally from Woodstock, New York, a town with more than a little music history, but she’s also lived in music cities like Nashville and Austin. Many of the 13 tracks on Waltz for Abilene are instrumentals, but there are some notable vocal performances as well. Woodstock native (and Levon’s daughter) Amy Helm lends her beautiful voice to Dylan’s “Ring Them Bells” while Rory Block, with whom Cindy sometimes appears as the Sisters of Slide, lets loose on “That Ain’t No Way for Me to Get Along.”

There are jazzy instrumentals like “Peacock Alley” with friends from Asleep At The Wheel and the lovely spiritual sounds of “Salvation” with Marcia Ball on piano. The great Albert Lee, with whom Cindy has appeared regularly in recent years, joins her for a pair of twangy tunes while John Sebastian’s harmonica is the perfect complement on “This Train.” Sonny Landreth is outstanding on the gorgeous “Sey Seychelles” and multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell (who has served as both Bob Dylan’s and Levon Helm’s bandleader) is always superb, joining Cashdollar for the title track.

It might be a star-studded lineup, but Cindy Cashdollar is the real star here. Even “Oh Susanna” is beautiful in her hands. If you like what you hear on Waltz for Abilene, check out her 2004 release, Slide Show. It’s another great album with great musicians. Most of all, though, catch Cashdollar live. If you’ve never seen her before, you’ve never heard anything like her.

—Lou Montesano

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