Sandy Louise - Cry Out My Name
The realm of the darker side of Americana tends to be dominated bu men, if a song by a female singer is about stealing or murdering someone it tends to be light hearted - bucking the trend with her latest single "Cry Out My Name" is Sandy Louise with what she calls "A gritty bush ballad on the life of Jessie Hickman, aka The Lady Bushranger" - whose wikipedia entry needs to be seen to be believed and will add a bit of context to the song.
Hailing from Newcastle Australia, Sandy Louise has released 3 albums since 2014 and in this latest release she creates an imposing mood with little more than 2 guitars, a bass and some light drumming, it is exactly the right mood as she details events from a quite extraordinary life!
For this song Sandy effectively becomes Jessie and events are narrated in the first person, the words are relayed in a matter of fact way although there is a glimmer of grim satisfaction in the way she reveals how husband number three met his fate!
"Married thrice to dirty men - I killed the last one with my hands
In defence is what they say - perhaps they'll learn the truth one day"
The chorus is a bold announcement of just what a formidable woman she is, and is delivered with a degree of swagger
"I'm no lady - you will see - I'll be where all the brave men can't be
They don't dare look me in the eye - I'll finish them off before they cry"
Primarily an amazing cattle thief each verse reveals aspects of this most intruiging of characters
"I've wrapped the boys around my finger - names for every place I linger
You think you've seem me then I'm gone, with your cattle in the morn
Send the trackers bring them down - I'll leave nothing to be found
Search every corner of Woollemi - leave with your hands and pockets dry"
The excellent guitar work throughout the track does so much for the atmosphere of the song - each line is distinctly clear and able to be individually picked out, yet when you just let them all wash over you the sum of the parts creates a much bigger overall sound.
It all makes for a most entertaining telling of events and in the final verse Sandy imbues Jessie with the ability to ponder how her place in history will captured and gives voice to how she might view that
"I'm no snitch, no I'm no whore - i get the job done you keep score
They'll read about me in their books - they'll all remember me I'm sure"
The song closes out on the repeating line "Cry out my name - Widow Hickman" - with Sandy increasing her vocal delivery each time she sings it. It all makes for a deliciously dark little tale.