Gwyneth Moreland plays well with grown-ups. She of course is one, but she’s taken it on herself to bring on board her new record some of the headiest of musically fermented experts to play along with her. Her album features an image of orchard fruits in a fruit basket. The fruits are ripe from a combination of her intoxicating range and often unique voicings and the stripes-earned instrumental and verbal elicitations of players supporting her sonic apples and oranges. The tunes are her own fresh offerings, many co-written with husband Skyler Hinkle, all one form or another of that catch-all, Americana. To my ear and understanding, each tune grows in nuance and individuality. Number one on the album, “Movin’ On” is jazzy, A tune appropriate for a swing band at the local VFW that night. She has a personal way of delivery that is fresh like the analogy I paint of this musical marketplace. A straight-forward, personable, rich round volume varying in pitch as the work rests differently in the air fresh out of the apple basket wire and slats. I got to see/hear her perform in one of the many nicely idiosyncratic guest-room/suite concerts by artists from throughout the world at this year’s Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City. The album comes across as fresh as she did in performance and could have dropped off a 1950’s fruit wagon on the way to Saturday market.. One of her colleagues on the album is the iconic Gene Parsons, one of the original Byrds, yes, the Byrds! and later the Flying Burrito Brothers. He can clearly be heard on one tune with his pedal steel undulating throughout the song, and his banjo paints a really jaunty picture on a couple of other outings. You can’t see the bright, bushy, white mustache while he picks away on that rootsy instrument. He’s quite incredible on the album, as is Steven Bates, the striking young picker and crooner on guitar. I was just listening to the Byrds on vinyl this morning. David Haynes, who has played with almost everyone but mostly with Van Morrison over the years, comes in on bass mostly, his major piece, but also vocals, electric bass, mandolin, percussion, keyboard, guitar, and harmonica. He had been a teacher of Gwyneth and is a regular fixture in her music, live and on record. All these folks, and then some, including brother Morgan Daniel and his smiling face on electric guitar and harmony vocals, are in evidence. Most of them live in proximity of each other in the lovely Christmas greeting-card setting of coastal Mendocino, CA. Gwyneth, who is also a veterinary technician, and her husband and kids live in a country setting complete with sheep, horse, chickens, and other livestock. The setting is reflected in the rootsy quality of many of the songs on the album, the folksy evocation of the simple, yet rich and inwardly complex life in a place resembling wilderness in ways. Some of my favorites are along those lines of her immediately previous cd, Ceilings, Floors, and Open Doors. This includes songs such as Slaughterhouse Gulch and Pine Box Sailor, both of which climbed the folk charts. I love the funky, rustic melodies here and simple, yet rich feelings expressed. But, the just-out album Cider is a winning effort too and represents some refreshing changes or additions. My favorite tune on the new album is the dynamic, melodic “California Zephyr,” about a heartbreak journey on that scenic Amtrak branch. For being a break-up song, its wonderfully lively and lyrical, Take me down to Union Station/to my black coat put a pink carnation/Kiss me twice for love and luck/In my hands place your last few bucks/Honey babe I’m leaving you. And then later: Won’t you listen to the train coming down the tracks/It carries me away, won’t carry me back/I know I’m not the one you treasure/Gonna catch that train, the California Zepher/Honey babe I’m leaving you/All aboard the California Zepher. The coastal-crested crooner is capable of creating her own traditions. Her song “Little Bird” has all the qualities and style of a tune handed down – or about to passed along – through generations. Oh little bird, oh little bird/Why do you fly so high/Why don’t you come back and be with me tonight I cannot and I will not fly down to be with thee/Your chains have released you and you released me When you hear that, you’d swear you grew up with it. It has that quality of folk song that feels lasting, in the sustaining, often comforting way good folk songs can be. Another of those I’m most attached to is “Broken Road.” Love the sound and sense of this. Snake of light above me keep my feet upon the path/Keep my footsteps steady strong and hide my heart from wrath/Save a sack of grain for the horse for when it snows/And send word to my baby that I walk a broken road. Gwyneth grew up around music played on vinyl offerings of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Joan Baez and such by her artist parents, her father a metal sculptor and her mother a fiber artist. Speaking of family, her aunt is the famed TV and movie star, Oscar winner Donna Reed. Moreland would hear the soulful music and look out over the misty redwoods and crashing Pacific below her.As with her previous album, her songs are heavily influenced by her surroundings. As in title song, “Cider,” something of a cross between a song and a prayer, set in the bliss and uncertainty of the orchard (Now I lay me down to sleep?):Of earthen gold the souls of trees/Apples grown stout by ocean breeze/Orbs of red so deep a hue/Our union they were witness to/Now they lie in ferment deep/For in our bed a baby sleeps Hands that hold turn the press/Young and old that we love best/Branches bare and the cellar waits/Winters chill will not hesitate/These treeless souls are bound to sleep/What earth has wrought the earth will keep Leaving prayer to end with a graceful benediction combined with a lyrical, and somewhat jazzy, lullaby, set to the beauties of her surroundings and those of us all …  And, softly propelled by harmonies, soft percussion, the rhythmic ups and downs of her voice, and…  peace, she finishes with “Summer Song:”River twilight hush sleeping down so low low/Rivers done with rushing creeping by so slow slow/Ain’t afraid of nothing got nowhere to go go/sunset’s all a-blushing putting on a show show

Gwyneth Moreland plays well with grown-ups. She of course is one, but she’s taken it on herself to bring on board her new record some of the headiest of musically fermented experts to play along with her. Her album features an image of orchard fruits in a fruit basket. The fruits are ripe from a combination of her intoxicating range and often unique voicings and the stripes-earned instrumental and verbal elicitations of players supporting her sonic apples and oranges. The tunes are her own fresh offerings, many co-written with husband Skyler Hinkle, all one form or another of that catch-all, Americana. To my ear and understanding, each tune grows in nuance and individuality.
Number one on the album, “Movin’ On” is jazzy, A tune appropriate for a swing band at the local VFW that night.
She has a personal way of delivery that is fresh like the analogy I paint of this musical marketplace. A straight-forward, personable, rich round volume varying in pitch as the work rests differently in the air fresh out of the apple basket wire and slats. I got to see/hear her perform in one of the many nicely idiosyncratic guest-room/suite concerts by artists from throughout the world at this year’s Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City.
The album comes across as fresh as she did in performance and could have dropped off a 1950’s fruit wagon on the way to Saturday market..
One of her colleagues on the album is the iconic Gene Parsons, one of the original Byrds, yes, the Byrds! and later the Flying Burrito Brothers. He can clearly be heard on one tune with his pedal steel undulating throughout the song, and his banjo paints a really jaunty picture on a couple of other outings. You can’t see the bright, bushy, white mustache while he picks away on that rootsy instrument. He’s quite incredible on the album, as is Steven Bates, the striking young picker and crooner on guitar. I was just listening to the Byrds on vinyl this morning.
David Haynes, who has played with almost everyone but mostly with Van Morrison over the years, comes in on bass mostly, his major piece, but also vocals, electric bass, mandolin, percussion, keyboard, guitar, and harmonica. He had been a teacher of Gwyneth and is a regular fixture in her music, live and on record.
All these folks, and then some, including brother Morgan Daniel and his smiling face on electric guitar and harmony vocals, are in evidence. Most of them live in proximity of each other in the lovely Christmas greeting-card setting of coastal Mendocino, CA.
Gwyneth, who is also a veterinary technician, and her husband and kids live in a country setting complete with sheep, horse, chickens, and other livestock. The setting is reflected in the rootsy quality of many of the songs on the album, the folksy evocation of the simple, yet rich and inwardly complex life in a place resembling wilderness in ways.
Some of my favorites are along those lines of her immediately previous cd, Ceilings, Floors, and Open Doors. This includes songs such as Slaughterhouse Gulch and Pine Box Sailor, both of which climbed the folk charts. I love the funky, rustic melodies here and simple, yet rich feelings expressed.
But, the just-out album Cider is a winning effort too and represents some refreshing changes or additions. My favorite tune on the new album is the dynamic, melodic “California Zephyr,” about a heartbreak journey on that scenic Amtrak branch. For being a break-up song, its wonderfully lively and lyrical,
Take me down to Union Station/to my black coat put a pink carnation/Kiss me twice for love and luck/In my hands place your last few bucks/Honey babe I’m leaving you.
And then later:
Won’t you listen to the train coming down the tracks/It carries me away, won’t carry me back/I know I’m not the one you treasure/Gonna catch that train, the California Zepher/Honey babe I’m leaving you/All aboard the California Zepher.
The coastal-crested crooner is capable of creating her own traditions. Her song “Little Bird” has all the qualities and style of a tune handed down – or about to passed along – through generations.
Oh little bird, oh little bird/Why do you fly so high/Why don’t you come back and be with me tonight
I cannot and I will not fly down to be with thee/Your chains have released you and you released me
When you hear that, you’d swear you grew up with it. It has that quality of folk song that feels lasting, in the sustaining, often comforting way good folk songs can be.
Another of those I’m most attached to is “Broken Road.” Love the sound and sense of this.
Snake of light above me keep my feet upon the path/Keep my footsteps steady strong and hide my heart from wrath/Save a sack of grain for the horse for when it snows/And send word to my baby that I walk a broken road.
Gwyneth grew up around music played on vinyl offerings of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Joan Baez and such by her artist parents, her father a metal sculptor and her mother a fiber artist. Speaking of family, her aunt is the famed TV and movie star, Oscar winner Donna Reed.
Moreland would hear the soulful music and look out over the misty redwoods and crashing Pacific below her.As with her previous album, her songs are heavily influenced by her surroundings. As in title song, “Cider,” something of a cross between a song and a prayer, set in the bliss and uncertainty of the orchard (Now I lay me down to sleep?):Of earthen gold the souls of trees/Apples grown stout by ocean breeze/Orbs of red so deep a hue/Our union they were witness to/Now they lie in ferment deep/For in our bed a baby sleeps Hands that hold turn the press/Young and old that we love best/Branches bare and the cellar waits/Winters chill will not hesitate/These treeless souls are bound to sleep/What earth has wrought the earth will keep
Leaving prayer to end with a graceful benediction combined with a lyrical, and somewhat jazzy, lullaby, set to the beauties of her surroundings and those of us all …  And, softly propelled by harmonies, soft percussion, the rhythmic ups and downs of her voice, and…  peace, she finishes with “Summer Song:”River twilight hush sleeping down so low low/Rivers done with rushing creeping by so slow slow/Ain’t afraid of nothing got nowhere to go go/sunset’s all a-blushing putting on a show show

Gwyneth Moreland – Cider Gwyneth Moreland’s Cider is an intimately arranged and produced affair that positions Moreland as one of the pre-eminent talents working in folk music today. Folk music is an all-encompassing term, as used here, because there are a number of musical strains coloring the album’s ten songs and it resists easy labeling. Moreland’s talents are further burnished by working with a number of excellent production and accompanying musicians who fully understand how to elevate these performances. There’s obviously a tremendous amount of care taken with these songs – the nuanced recording, tasteful playing, and excellent construction defining these tracks helps make the release stand out as one of the genre’s marquee albums in recent memory. Creating a musical gem doesn’t require the same amount of pressure needed to form diamonds – instead, there’s a mix of focus and relaxed grace needed to make your effort stand out. That’s present on this album and there’s a palpable confidence that makes it even more memorable. Even at its darkest moments, there’s a real sense of joy in Moreland’s music making. It comes through on material as seemingly disparate as the opener “Movin’ On” and the third and fifth tracks, “Little Bird” and “Eloise” respectively. The former has a lighter touch, but it nevertheless has a classily handled theatricality and Moreland’s crystalline phrasing aches with real feeling. “Eloise” has a much moodier demeanor and minor key thrust, but there’s never a moment during any of these songs when you truly think Moreland has succumbed to despair. Another memorable aspect of the songs in this collection is the focus she keeps up throughout the song. Both songs also show her ability for hitting upon recognizable traditional language in new and inventive ways. Call it a talent for pouring old wine into new bottles. “The California Zephyr” has Gene Parsons contributing outstanding banjo playing that never outshines the accompanying instruments but, rather, plays with them. Moreland really excels at conjuring a haunting feel, placing these narratives on the biggest of possible stages, but there’s never a sense of the songs being overwrought. They are carefully crafted mini-dramas each time out. There’s certainly a strong sense of the bittersweet altering the taste of “Your Smile”, but it may be the real sleeper on this album. It has a very deliberate, pensive arrangement centered on acoustic guitar, naturally, but the backing vocals joining Moreland at various points throughout the song give it an even stronger poetic quality and the lyrics are particularly wrenching. Character pieces, to a certain extent, are the peaks on Cider and few are as detailed and fraught with tension like “Danny Parker”. The evocative language is given a further twist by her singing and it rates among her best vocal turns. There’s a very reflective feel defining the music and lyrics of the title track while Moreland underscores the atmosphere with an attentive singing performance. There’s a slight upward swing making the final track, “Summer Song”, sparkle in a way few of the other tracks do. It’s an appropriately hopeful finale that stays consistent with much of what’s come before. It varies the emotional mood of Cider just enough more to make it a deeper, richer experience. This is an unique release and seems perfectly realized in a way few albums are. Its cool and earnest confidence comes through from the first note to the last. 9 out of 10 stars Lance Wright

Gwyneth Moreland – Cider
Gwyneth Moreland’s Cider is an intimately arranged and produced affair that positions Moreland as one of the pre-eminent talents working in folk music today. Folk music is an all-encompassing term, as used here, because there are a number of musical strains coloring the album’s ten songs and it resists easy labeling. Moreland’s talents are further burnished by working with a number of excellent production and accompanying musicians who fully understand how to elevate these performances. There’s obviously a tremendous amount of care taken with these songs – the nuanced recording, tasteful playing, and excellent construction defining these tracks helps make the release stand out as one of the genre’s marquee albums in recent memory. Creating a musical gem doesn’t require the same amount of pressure needed to form diamonds – instead, there’s a mix of focus and relaxed grace needed to make your effort stand out. That’s present on this album and there’s a palpable confidence that makes it even more memorable.

Even at its darkest moments, there’s a real sense of joy in Moreland’s music making. It comes through on material as seemingly disparate as the opener “Movin’ On” and the third and fifth tracks, “Little Bird” and “Eloise” respectively. The former has a lighter touch, but it nevertheless has a classily handled theatricality and Moreland’s crystalline phrasing aches with real feeling. “Eloise” has a much moodier demeanor and minor key thrust, but there’s never a moment during any of these songs when you truly think Moreland has succumbed to despair. Another memorable aspect of the songs in this collection is the focus she keeps up throughout the song. Both songs also show her ability for hitting upon recognizable traditional language in new and inventive ways. Call it a talent for pouring old wine into new bottles. “The California Zephyr” has Gene Parsons contributing outstanding banjo playing that never outshines the accompanying instruments but, rather, plays with them. Moreland really excels at conjuring a haunting feel, placing these narratives on the biggest of possible stages, but there’s never a sense of the songs being overwrought. They are carefully crafted mini-dramas each time out.

There’s certainly a strong sense of the bittersweet altering the taste of “Your Smile”, but it may be the real sleeper on this album. It has a very deliberate, pensive arrangement centered on acoustic guitar, naturally, but the backing vocals joining Moreland at various points throughout the song give it an even stronger poetic quality and the lyrics are particularly wrenching. Character pieces, to a certain extent, are the peaks on Cider and few are as detailed and fraught with tension like “Danny Parker”. The evocative language is given a further twist by her singing and it rates among her best vocal turns. There’s a very reflective feel defining the music and lyrics of the title track while Moreland underscores the atmosphere with an attentive singing performance. There’s a slight upward swing making the final track, “Summer Song”, sparkle in a way few of the other tracks do. It’s an appropriately hopeful finale that stays consistent with much of what’s come before. It varies the emotional mood of Cider just enough more to make it a deeper, richer experience. This is an unique release and seems perfectly realized in a way few albums are. Its cool and earnest confidence comes through from the first note to the last.

9 out of 10 stars

Lance Wright

The ten song album Cider from California based vocalist and songwriter Gwyneth Moreland heralds the full on arrival of a major new talent. She’s enlisted an impressive team to help her realize its potential. David Hayes, noted for his work with Van Morrison, handled the production, engineering, and mixing chores while Karl Derfler’s mastering talents, which have distinguished previous Tom Waits releases, work their magic on this collection as well. The album’s musical talent is equally top notch. Legendary pedal steel player Gene Parsons appears on Cider, contributing banjo as well, while some possibly unlikely collaborators like former Frank Zappa drummer Ralph Humprey appear as well. The album doesn’t have that classical California feel – instead, this is a wide-ranging collection with a personal sound transcending both time and geography. Cider is a memorable musical experience combining great artistry with a boundless heart – it is sure to entertain many. It’s obvious she’s an artist who takes great care with her performances. “Movin’ On” starts things off with a wispy shuffle that never gets ahead of its self. It’s guided by acoustic guitar and another hallmark of the album comes through in this song – the refusal of either Moreland or her band mates to become unnecessarily self indulgent. The same feel comes across on the song “Broken Road” and it does an excellent job of balancing mood and musicality. Ralph Humprey makes his mark on the song with great drummer that gives it the right amount of sway but never pushes the tempo too hard. The acoustic guitars on “Little Bird” have a much more assertive push with their straight ahead chording high in the mix. There’s some of the same solid narrative excellence defining this song that sets the best material on Cider apart and Moreland renders it with outstanding style. There’s a pleasing amiable jaunt defining the song “Farmhouse” and it defines the song with an understated rural feel without ever being too pretentious. The beauty of the vocal shows the same consistency that’s reached across the entirety of Cider and brings an unearthly glow to much of the material. One of the album’s darkest numbers, “Eloise”, boasts a delicately woven grace that plays more layered than many of the other songs. The shadowy strains of the song are never played with too much theatricality and, instead, gain a lot of atmospherics from her sensitive treatment of the song’s depth. The purest love song on Cider, “Your Smile”, isn’t free of its own pains and derives a great deal of its power from the mix of devotion and heartache. It is one of her most successful attempts at incorporating backing vocals and they further accent the regret bubbling through the performance. It’s also one of her greater lyrics on an album full of them. It makes a dramatic tandem with the song “Danny Parker”. This is easily one of Moreland’s finest moments on the album and has a beautiful elegiac feel few of the other superb songs possess. The album’s final songs, “Cider” and “Summer Song”, bring the release to an ending akin to a leaf falling to ground on a early fall day. Moreland brings the right amount of force to this conclusion and makes for an excellent conclusion to one of the year’s best albums. TWITTER: https://twitter.com/gwynethmoreland by Lydia Hillenburg

The ten song album Cider from California based vocalist and songwriter Gwyneth Moreland heralds the full on arrival of a major new talent. She’s enlisted an impressive team to help her realize its potential. David Hayes, noted for his work with Van Morrison, handled the production, engineering, and mixing chores while Karl Derfler’s mastering talents, which have distinguished previous Tom Waits releases, work their magic on this collection as well. The album’s musical talent is equally top notch. Legendary pedal steel player Gene Parsons appears on Cider, contributing banjo as well, while some possibly unlikely collaborators like former Frank Zappa drummer Ralph Humprey appear as well. The album doesn’t have that classical California feel – instead, this is a wide-ranging collection with a personal sound transcending both time and geography. Cider is a memorable musical experience combining great artistry with a boundless heart – it is sure to entertain many.

It’s obvious she’s an artist who takes great care with her performances. “Movin’ On” starts things off with a wispy shuffle that never gets ahead of its self. It’s guided by acoustic guitar and another hallmark of the album comes through in this song – the refusal of either Moreland or her band mates to become unnecessarily self indulgent. The same feel comes across on the song “Broken Road” and it does an excellent job of balancing mood and musicality. Ralph Humprey makes his mark on the song with great drummer that gives it the right amount of sway but never pushes the tempo too hard. The acoustic guitars on “Little Bird” have a much more assertive push with their straight ahead chording high in the mix. There’s some of the same solid narrative excellence defining this song that sets the best material on Cider apart and Moreland renders it with outstanding style. There’s a pleasing amiable jaunt defining the song “Farmhouse” and it defines the song with an understated rural feel without ever being too pretentious. The beauty of the vocal shows the same consistency that’s reached across the entirety of Cider and brings an unearthly glow to much of the material.

One of the album’s darkest numbers, “Eloise”, boasts a delicately woven grace that plays more layered than many of the other songs. The shadowy strains of the song are never played with too much theatricality and, instead, gain a lot of atmospherics from her sensitive treatment of the song’s depth. The purest love song on Cider, “Your Smile”, isn’t free of its own pains and derives a great deal of its power from the mix of devotion and heartache. It is one of her most successful attempts at incorporating backing vocals and they further accent the regret bubbling through the performance. It’s also one of her greater lyrics on an album full of them. It makes a dramatic tandem with the song “Danny Parker”. This is easily one of Moreland’s finest moments on the album and has a beautiful elegiac feel few of the other superb songs possess. The album’s final songs, “Cider” and “Summer Song”, bring the release to an ending akin to a leaf falling to ground on a early fall day. Moreland brings the right amount of force to this conclusion and makes for an excellent conclusion to one of the year’s best albums.

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/gwynethmoreland

by Lydia Hillenburg

April 22 2017 - The Alternate Root Top 10 Songs of The Week: 09 Movin’ On – Gwyneth Moreland (from the album Cider) Gwyneth Moreland is shuffling and singing her way out of town with “Movin’ On”. The tune rambles as her memories fall back into summer on a track from her recent release, Cider. Read More Here: http://thealternateroot.com/what-s-trending/6420-toptensongs-042217

April 22 2017 - The Alternate Root Top 10 Songs of The Week:

09 Movin’ On – Gwyneth Moreland (from the album Cider)

Gwyneth Moreland is shuffling and singing her way out of town with “Movin’ On”. The tune rambles as her memories fall back into summer on a track from her recent release, Cider.

Read More Here: http://thealternateroot.com/what-s-trending/6420-toptensongs-042217

Gwyneth Moreland – Cider  (April 21) April 18, 2017 If you are unaware of Gwyneth Moreland, you are not alone. I had not heard of her until a couple of weeks ago, when a Nashville friend said I ought to give this Mendocino native a listen. Anyone from the town featured in my favorite Kate McGarrigle song and whose second album features the nearly forgotten Gene Parsons(!) (of the Byrds, and whose solo albums are treasures) must be kismet In my early listenings I heard a real homey sound, as if it had been written and recorded in her living room. Only afterward did I learn that most of the songs are co-written with her husband, and her brother and niece play on the album that was produced by their son's godfather. It's a family affair, and it shows. The album opens with a slow, swinging blues of "Moving On." Not to be confused with Hank Snow's "I'm Moving On," Moreland's way of moving on is about walking in the country, listening to the birds sing while the wind caresses the trees, wondering where the time has gone. In the next track, "Broken Road," she mixes some Robert Frost-like imagery: "Snake the light above me/guide me home to sleep/feet are lost in darkness/and promises to keep." She sings it like an earnest Neko Case, but without the reverb or any trace of irony.  The songs on the album are clear and distinct. There is no doubt they reflect her life and experiences lived in the California countryside. As Moreland told me in a note, "Many of the songs on Cider reflect our life here on the family homestead in Mendocino, where we harvest apples every fall. And it was our homemade hard cider that continued to inspire us as we wrote the songs for the album." While she tours mostly in California, she did trek to the International Folk Alliance in Kansas this past winter. Fortunately, you don't have to go that far, just down to your favorite record store.

Gwyneth Moreland – Cider  (April 21)

April 18, 2017

If you are unaware of Gwyneth Moreland, you are not alone. I had not heard of her until a couple of weeks ago, when a Nashville friend said I ought to give this Mendocino native a listen. Anyone from the town featured in my favorite Kate McGarrigle song and whose second album features the nearly forgotten Gene Parsons(!) (of the Byrds, and whose solo albums are treasures) must be kismet

In my early listenings I heard a real homey sound, as if it had been written and recorded in her living room. Only afterward did I learn that most of the songs are co-written with her husband, and her brother and niece play on the album that was produced by their son's godfather. It's a family affair, and it shows.

The album opens with a slow, swinging blues of "Moving On." Not to be confused with Hank Snow's "I'm Moving On," Moreland's way of moving on is about walking in the country, listening to the birds sing while the wind caresses the trees, wondering where the time has gone. In the next track, "Broken Road," she mixes some Robert Frost-like imagery: "Snake the light above me/guide me home to sleep/feet are lost in darkness/and promises to keep." She sings it like an earnest Neko Case, but without the reverb or any trace of irony. 

The songs on the album are clear and distinct. There is no doubt they reflect her life and experiences lived in the California countryside. As Moreland told me in a note, "Many of the songs on Cider reflect our life here on the family homestead in Mendocino, where we harvest apples every fall. And it was our homemade hard cider that continued to inspire us as we wrote the songs for the album."

While she tours mostly in California, she did trek to the International Folk Alliance in Kansas this past winter. Fortunately, you don't have to go that far, just down to your favorite record store.

The personal nature of Gwyneth Moreland’s songwriting is a hallmark of the best folk music, but her musicality is equally powerful. There’s melody galore filling the album’s ten songs and rousing vocal performances that never takes the path of least resistance and, instead, obviously invests enormous emotional capital in getting over the lyrical content. There are country and blues music influences making their presence felt throughout the release, but the guiding spirit behind these recordings is Moreland’s phrasing and the highly literate quality of her material. Much of the credit for the album’s presentation must fall on Moreland’s producer David Hayes, a veteran of working with no less of a legend than Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison. In the end, however, Gwyneth Moreland rises to the occasion time after time again with a wide ranging interpretation of her own material that never risks imitation despite her countless influences.  One of the strongest added influences on Cider is, certainly, classic country music. “Movin’ On”, on the basis of title alone, certainly invokes those motifs, but Moreland never goes in for a craven regurgitation of that style lacking any personal punch. The shuffle beat never manifests a lot of energy but it’s an excellent way to introduce listeners to the album’s musical world. She definitely restrains herself even more with the second song “Broken Road”. Moreland has an interesting skill for writing material full of obvious love and deep feeling, yet bring emotions to bear connected with loss and heartache. There’s a craftsmanship emerging from the album early on that will completely bring listeners into her world. She invokes traditional folk music at a number of points throughout Cider and one of the zeniths of that inclination comes with the song “Little Bird”. The language of her songwriting, however, is never remote from our modern experience and it makes it clear she views the traditional music template pursued her as a vibrant vehicle for her own emotional explorations.   “Farmhouse” is one of Cider’s more musically direct cuts with straight-forward strummed guitar and big, blocky chords that strongly announce themselves yet never lack their own melodic value. It’s certainly one of the album’s lighter musical number, in the sense that there’s no real feeling of downcast to be heard throughout its duration, but nonetheless fits in quite nicely with the remainder of the release. “The California Zephyr” is a traditional folk song ripped from an uniquely geographic experience, yet it magically invokes both country and folk traditions without any stylistic confusion. “Danny Parker” is Moreland’s finest writing on Cider – hands down. This is a lyric rife with detail and the music is equally up to the task of dramatically depicting the emotion it invokes. The album’s closing cut, “Summer Song”, ends Cider surrounded by a brighter hue than many of the other songs aim for and this slightly surprising final turn is perfectly in keeping with the sense of daring that makes much of the album work so well. Gwyneth Moreland’s talents are considerable, but perhaps her greatest talent is for understanding exactly how to present her own vision in a way that promises to draw in the most listeners. 9 out of 10 stars 

The personal nature of Gwyneth Moreland’s songwriting is a hallmark of the best folk music, but her musicality is equally powerful. There’s melody galore filling the album’s ten songs and rousing vocal performances that never takes the path of least resistance and, instead, obviously invests enormous emotional capital in getting over the lyrical content. There are country and blues music influences making their presence felt throughout the release, but the guiding spirit behind these recordings is Moreland’s phrasing and the highly literate quality of her material. Much of the credit for the album’s presentation must fall on Moreland’s producer David Hayes, a veteran of working with no less of a legend than Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison. In the end, however, Gwyneth Moreland rises to the occasion time after time again with a wide ranging interpretation of her own material that never risks imitation despite her countless influences. 

One of the strongest added influences on Cider is, certainly, classic country music. “Movin’ On”, on the basis of title alone, certainly invokes those motifs, but Moreland never goes in for a craven regurgitation of that style lacking any personal punch. The shuffle beat never manifests a lot of energy but it’s an excellent way to introduce listeners to the album’s musical world. She definitely restrains herself even more with the second song “Broken Road”. Moreland has an interesting skill for writing material full of obvious love and deep feeling, yet bring emotions to bear connected with loss and heartache. There’s a craftsmanship emerging from the album early on that will completely bring listeners into her world. She invokes traditional folk music at a number of points throughout Cider and one of the zeniths of that inclination comes with the song “Little Bird”. The language of her songwriting, however, is never remote from our modern experience and it makes it clear she views the traditional music template pursued her as a vibrant vehicle for her own emotional explorations.  

“Farmhouse” is one of Cider’s more musically direct cuts with straight-forward strummed guitar and big, blocky chords that strongly announce themselves yet never lack their own melodic value. It’s certainly one of the album’s lighter musical number, in the sense that there’s no real feeling of downcast to be heard throughout its duration, but nonetheless fits in quite nicely with the remainder of the release. “The California Zephyr” is a traditional folk song ripped from an uniquely geographic experience, yet it magically invokes both country and folk traditions without any stylistic confusion. “Danny Parker” is Moreland’s finest writing on Cider – hands down. This is a lyric rife with detail and the music is equally up to the task of dramatically depicting the emotion it invokes. The album’s closing cut, “Summer Song”, ends Cider surrounded by a brighter hue than many of the other songs aim for and this slightly surprising final turn is perfectly in keeping with the sense of daring that makes much of the album work so well. Gwyneth Moreland’s talents are considerable, but perhaps her greatest talent is for understanding exactly how to present her own vision in a way that promises to draw in the most listeners.

9 out of 10 stars 

April 19 2017 Gwyneth Moreland - Cider  The fact that an album like this can exist in 2017 is testament to the abiding values of the popular music art form. Gwyneth Moreland’s Cider features ten tracks with a decidedly folk influence, along with other styles coloring the writing and performances, but it touches on the eternal verities of human experience in a timeless and highly personal way. The sunlight and shade of Moreland’s California upbringing vary throughout the songs and reflect the personal touch that makes this album stand out more than many other releases in recent memory. Moreland has the skill level of someone who has been doing this for many years and has a well honed musical vision. It’s truly bracing to imagine how much further she may go from this point on. Cider is an unusually powerful release from a musical scene that’s far from moribund.   It would be easy for us to assume that spartan music like this doesn’t challenge listeners. The style seems so archaic in our technologically advanced time, but few musical presentations still communicate as effectively as a first class singer working in an acoustic setting that emphasizes taste – never overplaying and just serving the melodic purposes of the composition. “Movin’ On” is the first example of this on Cider. She takes on one of the most familiar tempos in country and folk music, even rock, the shuffle and makes it work for her with a surprising freshness. “Broken Road” shows a bluesy tinge, but it likely owes much more to the classic country tradition despite the continued low-fi approach. The mood is decidedly less jovial and carefree, but the same attention to detail makes both songs stand out. There’s a steadiness to the guitar playing on “Farmhouse” that has a slightly jovial air as well. There’s much of a reliance on worked out melody lines, but the chunky guitar chords set their own sort of atmosphere. “Eloise” reverts to a much more melodic approach but there’s a consistency of structure defining the entire collection that gives even these more delicately wrought tunes a definite shape. “The California Zephyr” has some classic bluegrass feel making its mark on certain passages thanks to the inclusion of banjo, but it is never a dominant musical factor of the song. Moreland’s ability throughout the album to incorporate a variety of sounds without steering the songwriting in specific directions sets her apart from many contemporaries.  “Your Smile” is another sterling example, likewise, of her ability to write emotionally engaging material that strikes both a personal and universal note. It has a clearer structure than many songs on Cider, but that stronger skeleton never hampers its ability to connect. “Danny Parker” rates as one of the album’s strongest pieces and makes for a great pairing with the title song. “Cider” is the album’s penultimate cut but could have easily served as the finale. There’s a salutatory air to this number that helps make it one of the most beautiful moments on an album that’s sure to enchant many. Gwyneth Moreland is a must hear for any fans of quality songwriting and musicianship.  9 out of 10 stars Scott Wigley

April 19 2017

Gwyneth Moreland - Cider 

The fact that an album like this can exist in 2017 is testament to the abiding values of the popular music art form. Gwyneth Moreland’s Cider features ten tracks with a decidedly folk influence, along with other styles coloring the writing and performances, but it touches on the eternal verities of human experience in a timeless and highly personal way. The sunlight and shade of Moreland’s California upbringing vary throughout the songs and reflect the personal touch that makes this album stand out more than many other releases in recent memory. Moreland has the skill level of someone who has been doing this for many years and has a well honed musical vision. It’s truly bracing to imagine how much further she may go from this point on. Cider is an unusually powerful release from a musical scene that’s far from moribund.  

It would be easy for us to assume that spartan music like this doesn’t challenge listeners. The style seems so archaic in our technologically advanced time, but few musical presentations still communicate as effectively as a first class singer working in an acoustic setting that emphasizes taste – never overplaying and just serving the melodic purposes of the composition. “Movin’ On” is the first example of this on Cider. She takes on one of the most familiar tempos in country and folk music, even rock, the shuffle and makes it work for her with a surprising freshness. “Broken Road” shows a bluesy tinge, but it likely owes much more to the classic country tradition despite the continued low-fi approach. The mood is decidedly less jovial and carefree, but the same attention to detail makes both songs stand out. There’s a steadiness to the guitar playing on “Farmhouse” that has a slightly jovial air as well. There’s much of a reliance on worked out melody lines, but the chunky guitar chords set their own sort of atmosphere. “Eloise” reverts to a much more melodic approach but there’s a consistency of structure defining the entire collection that gives even these more delicately wrought tunes a definite shape. “The California Zephyr” has some classic bluegrass feel making its mark on certain passages thanks to the inclusion of banjo, but it is never a dominant musical factor of the song. Moreland’s ability throughout the album to incorporate a variety of sounds without steering the songwriting in specific directions sets her apart from many contemporaries. 

“Your Smile” is another sterling example, likewise, of her ability to write emotionally engaging material that strikes both a personal and universal note. It has a clearer structure than many songs on Cider, but that stronger skeleton never hampers its ability to connect. “Danny Parker” rates as one of the album’s strongest pieces and makes for a great pairing with the title song. “Cider” is the album’s penultimate cut but could have easily served as the finale. There’s a salutatory air to this number that helps make it one of the most beautiful moments on an album that’s sure to enchant many. Gwyneth Moreland is a must hear for any fans of quality songwriting and musicianship. 

9 out of 10 stars

Scott Wigley

April 18, 2017 There’s a rich lineage of Americana music informing Gwyneth Moreland’s release Cider. The influence of artists like Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Joan Baez, Gillian Welch, and Bob Dylan run through the album’s entirety while she’s accompanied by stellar players like pedal steel guitarist Gene Parsons whose list of credits includes The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers – among others. The ten song collection never sounds imitative, however, and instead illustrates how successfully she filters those aforementioned influences through her experiences and personal artistry. The release is devoted to Moreland’s originals and she proves to have an individualistic and idiosyncratic voice reaching far past the ken of typical folk acts. This music is, in her hands, not some beautifully ornate butterfly to be pinned beneath glass – instead, she brings traditional elements firmly into a modern context and it makes for one of 2017’s greatest listening experiences. “Movin’ On” is powered by a slow, lazy shuffle and gentle acoustic instrumentation. The percussion has a lightly brushing effect and punctuating the arrangement with occasional flashes of harmonica adds just the right amount of extra color. Moreland’s voice is accompanied by some occasional backing vocals, but she largely glides solo through equally relaxed and easy going verses – the clarity of her voice is a minor marvel and she works magic with a beautifully wrought vocal melody. The album’s second song, “Broken Road”, features some of Ralph Humprey’s tasteful swing on drums. While the song is never specifically downbeat, there’s certainly a light melancholy edge shaping the song in significant ways. She never fails, however, to treat it with singular grace and emotion. Some of that same melancholy makes its way into the track “Eloise”. The recurrent and artfully ominous bass pulse resounding throughout the song gives it much of that sound, but Moreland’s vocals and the understated instrumentation contribute a lot to it as well. She certainly references longstanding folk traditions in her songwriting, but it never sounds dated thanks to her ability for pushing a distinct point of view. Gene Parsons guests on banjo during the song “The California Zephyr” and his skills on the instrument make for a great addition to an already fine track. This also ranks as one of Moreland’s best vocals on the album and she throws herself into the fine lyric with uncommon zest. “Danny Parker”, the album’s third single, has an older feel than the other material in some way and the focus she brings to the lyrical content makes this, truly, one of the best moments on Cider. The album’s title song is highlighted by Parsons’ pedal steel contributions, but Moreland matches them with one of her more nuanced, yet command, turns as a singer. The song builds with the same extraordinary patience defining the earlier tracks and stands as another of the album’s peak moments. Gwyneth Moreland has written and recorded a collection with lasting value. This collection has colossal emotional and musical value and Moreland comes out of this as an artist with boundless promise for years to come. 9 out of 10 stars Jason Hillenburg

April 18, 2017

There’s a rich lineage of Americana music informing Gwyneth Moreland’s release Cider. The influence of artists like Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Joan Baez, Gillian Welch, and Bob Dylan run through the album’s entirety while she’s accompanied by stellar players like pedal steel guitarist Gene Parsons whose list of credits includes The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers – among others. The ten song collection never sounds imitative, however, and instead illustrates how successfully she filters those aforementioned influences through her experiences and personal artistry. The release is devoted to Moreland’s originals and she proves to have an individualistic and idiosyncratic voice reaching far past the ken of typical folk acts. This music is, in her hands, not some beautifully ornate butterfly to be pinned beneath glass – instead, she brings traditional elements firmly into a modern context and it makes for one of 2017’s greatest listening experiences.

“Movin’ On” is powered by a slow, lazy shuffle and gentle acoustic instrumentation. The percussion has a lightly brushing effect and punctuating the arrangement with occasional flashes of harmonica adds just the right amount of extra color. Moreland’s voice is accompanied by some occasional backing vocals, but she largely glides solo through equally relaxed and easy going verses – the clarity of her voice is a minor marvel and she works magic with a beautifully wrought vocal melody. The album’s second song, “Broken Road”, features some of Ralph Humprey’s tasteful swing on drums. While the song is never specifically downbeat, there’s certainly a light melancholy edge shaping the song in significant ways. She never fails, however, to treat it with singular grace and emotion.

Some of that same melancholy makes its way into the track “Eloise”. The recurrent and artfully ominous bass pulse resounding throughout the song gives it much of that sound, but Moreland’s vocals and the understated instrumentation contribute a lot to it as well. She certainly references longstanding folk traditions in her songwriting, but it never sounds dated thanks to her ability for pushing a distinct point of view. Gene Parsons guests on banjo during the song “The California Zephyr” and his skills on the instrument make for a great addition to an already fine track. This also ranks as one of Moreland’s best vocals on the album and she throws herself into the fine lyric with uncommon zest. “Danny Parker”, the album’s third single, has an older feel than the other material in some way and the focus she brings to the lyrical content makes this, truly, one of the best moments on Cider.

The album’s title song is highlighted by Parsons’ pedal steel contributions, but Moreland matches them with one of her more nuanced, yet command, turns as a singer. The song builds with the same extraordinary patience defining the earlier tracks and stands as another of the album’s peak moments. Gwyneth Moreland has written and recorded a collection with lasting value. This collection has colossal emotional and musical value and Moreland comes out of this as an artist with boundless promise for years to come.

9 out of 10 stars

Jason Hillenburg

Great Americana music has a down-home feel, and Cider, the new album from Northern California folk songstress Gwyneth Moreland, embodies that sentiment; everything about Cider is homegrown—its songs were written locally, recorded locally, and will be distributed by local label Blue Rose Music. “I’m really excited about the opportunity to be a part of getting the northern California sound out to the world,” Moreland remarks of the album, set for release on April 21st. The youngest of five children from a musical household, Moreland was raised on a steady diet of Dylan, Baez, and traditional hymns, with a healthy respect for roots music. At 16, her oldest brother gave her a copy of Gillian Welch’s Revival, and she was transfixed. “It really spoke to me. I instantly started learning her songs and started performing them with my brother,” she recalls, though she still has yet to meet her idol. “I saw that some friends of mine on Facebook had Thanksgiving dinner with her last year, and I was like ‘I’m getting closer!’” she laughs. The album was recorded and produced by David Hayes, longtime bandleader and bassist for the legendary Van Morrison. “The album came together naturally,” she recalls. “I had just signed to Blue Rose and my baby was only three months old. I was so exhausted, and not feeling very creative at the time. I was so excited about the opportunity, and at the same time wondering how I was going to accomplish it. I wasn’t happy with anything I was writing, and luckily, my husband Skyler, who is an incredible writer, stepped in and co-wrote a lot of the songs with me,” she continues. “I also recorded songs I’d written in the past during other projects. David’s studio is only ten miles away, and between the support of my husband, my family, and our nanny, I was able to record it in two or three-hour blocks of time. Blue Rose was so supportive of that method too, making it work to fit my life, it was incredible. I can’t believe we pulled it off, and I’m so happy with the result,” she adds. “It definitely takes village.” Album track “Broken Road” is one such collaboration with her talented husband. “He originally came up with the lyrics with a different melody, and I just loved it,” she says. “I had been working on a guitar part, and by chance, realized the lyrics fit really well with it. The finger-picking gave it the feeling of walking down a road. Skyler grew up in Kansas and here in Mendocino, down a long dirt road. He had to walk to the school bus every morning in the dark, in all kinds of weather, and those memories inspired the words,” she explains. “I grew up here as well, in the country, and as teenagers we learn to drive on these dirt roads, we get stuck in the mud out here, you walk home on them. The broken road image speaks to both of our experiences.” Moreland’s live performance video of the song, which was recorded by Jay Blakesberg and features Hayes on bass, is appropriately acoustic and beautifully highlights its poignant and lyrical nostalgia. Without further ado, Mother Church proudly presents “Broken Road,” the new video by Gwyneth Moreland:

Great Americana music has a down-home feel, and Cider, the new album from Northern California folk songstress Gwyneth Moreland, embodies that sentiment; everything about Cider is homegrown—its songs were written locally, recorded locally, and will be distributed by local label Blue Rose Music. “I’m really excited about the opportunity to be a part of getting the northern California sound out to the world,” Moreland remarks of the album, set for release on April 21st.

The youngest of five children from a musical household, Moreland was raised on a steady diet of Dylan, Baez, and traditional hymns, with a healthy respect for roots music. At 16, her oldest brother gave her a copy of Gillian Welch’s Revival, and she was transfixed. “It really spoke to me. I instantly started learning her songs and started performing them with my brother,” she recalls, though she still has yet to meet her idol. “I saw that some friends of mine on Facebook had Thanksgiving dinner with her last year, and I was like ‘I’m getting closer!’” she laughs.

The album was recorded and produced by David Hayes, longtime bandleader and bassist for the legendary Van Morrison. “The album came together naturally,” she recalls. “I had just signed to Blue Rose and my baby was only three months old. I was so exhausted, and not feeling very creative at the time. I was so excited about the opportunity, and at the same time wondering how I was going to accomplish it. I wasn’t happy with anything I was writing, and luckily, my husband Skyler, who is an incredible writer, stepped in and co-wrote a lot of the songs with me,” she continues. “I also recorded songs I’d written in the past during other projects. David’s studio is only ten miles away, and between the support of my husband, my family, and our nanny, I was able to record it in two or three-hour blocks of time. Blue Rose was so supportive of that method too, making it work to fit my life, it was incredible. I can’t believe we pulled it off, and I’m so happy with the result,” she adds. “It definitely takes village.”

Album track “Broken Road” is one such collaboration with her talented husband. “He originally came up with the lyrics with a different melody, and I just loved it,” she says. “I had been working on a guitar part, and by chance, realized the lyrics fit really well with it. The finger-picking gave it the feeling of walking down a road. Skyler grew up in Kansas and here in Mendocino, down a long dirt road. He had to walk to the school bus every morning in the dark, in all kinds of weather, and those memories inspired the words,” she explains. “I grew up here as well, in the country, and as teenagers we learn to drive on these dirt roads, we get stuck in the mud out here, you walk home on them. The broken road image speaks to both of our experiences.”

Moreland’s live performance video of the song, which was recorded by Jay Blakesberg and features Hayes on bass, is appropriately acoustic and beautifully highlights its poignant and lyrical nostalgia. Without further ado, Mother Church proudly presents “Broken Road,” the new video by Gwyneth Moreland:

March 16.2017 Mendocino-raised folk songwriter and singer Gwyneth Moreland performed on Sunday to a packed house in the Little River Inn’s Abalone Room. Moreland returned to her hometown of Mendocino in 2005 after attending college and working as a veterinary technician in Denver. Her musical career has since continued to blossom. Moreland’s latest album, “Cider,” is said to underscore her gift of writing acoustic arrangements. “My music is 100 percent influenced by the Mendocino Coast, where I grew up,” she said earlier this week. “The scenery, the community, my family all play such a huge part in what comes out of me.” “Cider” is set to release on April 21. It will be Mooreland’s third solo album, the first of which will be released on the Blue Rose Music label out of Sebastopol. “The album is produced, engineered and played on by my once-high school teacher and dear friend, David Hayes,” she said. “We had a cast of local musicians play on it including Gene Parsons, Ralph Humphrey, Gabe Yanez, as well as my brother, Morgan Daniel, and niece, Hannah Grinberg.” Moreland wrote or co-wrote all 10 songs alongside her husband, Skyler Hinkle, with help from Angie Heimann and Michael Monko.

March 16.2017

Mendocino-raised folk songwriter and singer Gwyneth Moreland performed on Sunday to a packed house in the Little River Inn’s Abalone Room.

Moreland returned to her hometown of Mendocino in 2005 after attending college and working as a veterinary technician in Denver. Her musical career has since continued to blossom.

Moreland’s latest album, “Cider,” is said to underscore her gift of writing acoustic arrangements.

“My music is 100 percent influenced by the Mendocino Coast, where I grew up,” she said earlier this week. “The scenery, the community, my family all play such a huge part in what comes out of me.”

“Cider” is set to release on April 21. It will be Mooreland’s third solo album, the first of which will be released on the Blue Rose Music label out of Sebastopol.

“The album is produced, engineered and played on by my once-high school teacher and dear friend, David Hayes,” she said. “We had a cast of local musicians play on it including Gene Parsons, Ralph Humphrey, Gabe Yanez, as well as my brother, Morgan Daniel, and niece, Hannah Grinberg.”

Moreland wrote or co-wrote all 10 songs alongside her husband, Skyler Hinkle, with help from Angie Heimann and Michael Monko.

March 2017

March 2017

March 8, 2017 It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry, Bob Dylan once said. But for California folkie Gwyneth Moreland, it takes a train to send that final, defiant kiss-off to a withering love. Moreland’s song “The California Zephyr,” which appears on her forthcoming album Cider, was inspired by a voyage she took on the train of that same name in 2008, when she was on the eve of a break-up. “It was a real 3000-mile trip, and it was amazing,” Moreland says. “Days and days on a train, stopping off to visit friends — just me and my Discman (yeah, that’s right). What was I listening to in those days? The Carter Family, Hank Williams, Guy Clark, Buck Owens, and Loretta Lynn. I was also discovering new female artists such as Feist, Regina Spektor, and Nellie McKay. I also knew a breakup was bound to happen with my then-boyfriend when I got back home to Mendocino, California. I had some very basic guitar skills at that point, but I was beginning to learn how simple melody and lyrics could get across complicated emotions. The song “The California Zephyr” is now a favorite of mine to play. It’s always fun to watch toes tapping along. I think a good song should be like a train. You should be able to easily hop up, sit down and take the journey.” Below, watch the video for “The California Zephyr, which was filmed by Bay Area photographer Jay Blakesberg. Cider drops April 21 via Blue Rose Music. Link: https://americansongwriter.com/2017/03/song-premiere-gwyneth-moreland/?mid=272

March 8, 2017

It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry, Bob Dylan once said.

But for California folkie Gwyneth Moreland, it takes a train to send that final, defiant kiss-off to a withering love.

Moreland’s song “The California Zephyr,” which appears on her forthcoming album Cider, was inspired by a voyage she took on the train of that same name in 2008, when she was on the eve of a break-up.

“It was a real 3000-mile trip, and it was amazing,” Moreland says. “Days and days on a train, stopping off to visit friends — just me and my Discman (yeah, that’s right). What was I listening to in those days? The Carter Family, Hank Williams, Guy Clark, Buck Owens, and Loretta Lynn. I was also discovering new female artists such as Feist, Regina Spektor, and Nellie McKay. I also knew a breakup was bound to happen with my then-boyfriend when I got back home to Mendocino, California.

I had some very basic guitar skills at that point, but I was beginning to learn how simple melody and lyrics could get across complicated emotions. The song “The California Zephyr” is now a favorite of mine to play. It’s always fun to watch toes tapping along. I think a good song should be like a train. You should be able to easily hop up, sit down and take the journey.”

Below, watch the video for “The California Zephyr, which was filmed by Bay Area photographer Jay Blakesberg. Cider drops April 21 via Blue Rose Music.

Link: https://americansongwriter.com/2017/03/song-premiere-gwyneth-moreland/?mid=272

February 27, 2017 Read more here.  When it came time to begin working on her new album, Gwyneth Moreland turned to her own backyard for inspiration. It was the rugged and beautiful landscape of her Northern California hometown of Mendocino, a place that has long embraced artists. She also turned to the music she grew up listening to – artists like  Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Billie Holiday, and contemporary folkies like Gillian Welch. The result is her new LP Cider, which comes out March 10th on Blue Rose Music. With her expressive vocals and reflective lyrics, Moreland balances traditional folk and Americana, and even incorporates jazz influences on occasion. The songs on Cider feel intimate and personal yet they resonate on a more universal emotional level. Today Glide Magazine is presenting a premiere of one of the standout songs on Cider, “Broken Road”. Inspired by Moreland’s native landscape, the song feels like a leisurely walk through the California sunshine, conveying a sense of peace with rich harmonies and acoustic guitar playing. Moreland offers her own story behind the song: “At first glance, one might guess that the term ‘Broken Road’ would be an artsy way to describe the symbolic bumpy path of life. But this song, written primarily by my husband Skyler, is about an actual road, a pothole-riddled mud slick that wound through backwoods junkyards and spilled into the dense undergrowth of Jackson State Forest. This was the path of the day, winding its way to a rural bus stop every morning in the dark or leading him home from his first job shoveling slop and manure at a farm owned by a miniature cattle breeder. When Skyler first wrote this song with a more rock ‘n’ roll style melody, he called it ‘Snake of Light.’ The imagery was so clear to me. It did indeed tell his story, but the muddy, rutted-out roads that carve through the misty trees here in Mendocino County were my childhood stomping grounds as well. At an early age, I too learned how to navigate through the brambly forest. My sister and I set out on many adventures to find the best river spots and hidden waterfalls that lay beyond the yellow forestry gates. When I put these words to my own melody and helped to craft the chorus, I wanted to create a guitar part that embodied that feeling of carefully placing one soggy foot in front of the other while gazing out ahead into the fog. The only thing that guides you there is the snake of light — the moonlight and starlight that cuts through from above, past the carved-out tree line as it follows the twisting road.” 

February 27, 2017
Read more here

When it came time to begin working on her new album, Gwyneth Moreland turned to her own backyard for inspiration. It was the rugged and beautiful landscape of her Northern California hometown of Mendocino, a place that has long embraced artists. She also turned to the music she grew up listening to – artists like  Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Billie Holiday, and contemporary folkies like Gillian Welch. The result is her new LP Cider, which comes out March 10th on Blue Rose Music.

With her expressive vocals and reflective lyrics, Moreland balances traditional folk and Americana, and even incorporates jazz influences on occasion. The songs on Cider feel intimate and personal yet they resonate on a more universal emotional level. Today Glide Magazine is presenting a premiere of one of the standout songs on Cider, “Broken Road”. Inspired by Moreland’s native landscape, the song feels like a leisurely walk through the California sunshine, conveying a sense of peace with rich harmonies and acoustic guitar playing.

Moreland offers her own story behind the song:
“At first glance, one might guess that the term ‘Broken Road’ would be an artsy way to describe the symbolic bumpy path of life. But this song, written primarily by my husband Skyler, is about an actual road, a pothole-riddled mud slick that wound through backwoods junkyards and spilled into the dense undergrowth of Jackson State Forest. This was the path of the day, winding its way to a rural bus stop every morning in the dark or leading him home from his first job shoveling slop and manure at a farm owned by a miniature cattle breeder.

When Skyler first wrote this song with a more rock ‘n’ roll style melody, he called it ‘Snake of Light.’ The imagery was so clear to me. It did indeed tell his story, but the muddy, rutted-out roads that carve through the misty trees here in Mendocino County were my childhood stomping grounds as well. At an early age, I too learned how to navigate through the brambly forest. My sister and I set out on many adventures to find the best river spots and hidden waterfalls that lay beyond the yellow forestry gates.

When I put these words to my own melody and helped to craft the chorus, I wanted to create a guitar part that embodied that feeling of carefully placing one soggy foot in front of the other while gazing out ahead into the fog. The only thing that guides you there is the snake of light — the moonlight and starlight that cuts through from above, past the carved-out tree line as it follows the twisting road.” 

Artist: Gwyneth Moreland Hometown: Mendocino, CA Song: "The California Zephyr" Album: Cider Release Date: April 21, 2017 Label: Blue Rose Music In Their Words: "In 2008, I booked a 3,000-mile trip by bus and train from my hometown of Mendocino, California, through the Southwest. With a heavy heart, I began a journey of long rides on the Pacific Surfliner and Southwest Chief, with a return ride from Denver on the famous train, the California Zephyr. During this time, I began to realize that my relationship with my then-boyfriend/bandmate was dissolving. So, yeah: I was heartbroken, torn up, and in desperate need of an adventure. So, when inspiration from the Carter Family's “The Cannon Ball Blues” struck while aboard the California Zephyr, I went with it. What came out was not a biographical song, but one that was definitely shaped by the way my heart was feeling and all the tunes floating through my head on that 54-hour ride from Denver. A friend nailed it when he said, 'You are singing about leaving behind your honey babe, but you've got a huge smile on your face!' And yes, it's true -- I do ... now. All those years of searching have led me here to this moment. The train keeps rolling." -- Gwyneth Moreland Link: http://www.thebluegrasssituation.com/read/listen-gwyneth-moreland-california-zephyr

Artist: Gwyneth Moreland
Hometown: Mendocino, CA
Song: "The California Zephyr"
Album: Cider
Release Date: April 21, 2017
Label: Blue Rose Music

In Their Words: "In 2008, I booked a 3,000-mile trip by bus and train from my hometown of Mendocino, California, through the Southwest. With a heavy heart, I began a journey of long rides on the Pacific Surfliner and Southwest Chief, with a return ride from Denver on the famous train, the California Zephyr. During this time, I began to realize that my relationship with my then-boyfriend/bandmate was dissolving. So, yeah: I was heartbroken, torn up, and in desperate need of an adventure.

So, when inspiration from the Carter Family's “The Cannon Ball Blues” struck while aboard the California Zephyr, I went with it. What came out was not a biographical song, but one that was definitely shaped by the way my heart was feeling and all the tunes floating through my head on that 54-hour ride from Denver. A friend nailed it when he said, 'You are singing about leaving behind your honey babe, but you've got a huge smile on your face!' And yes, it's true -- I do ... now. All those years of searching have led me here to this moment. The train keeps rolling." -- Gwyneth Moreland
Link: http://www.thebluegrasssituation.com/read/listen-gwyneth-moreland-california-zephyr

"As its title suggests, Gwyneth Moreland's new album Cider is sweet, tangy and potent. One of the most beautiful voices and talented songwriters I've encountered as a programmer, Gwyneth has packed this album with power, truth and joy. I can't wait to share this with my audience - Gwyneth's music just takes my breath away!" 
- Kate Hayes, KOZT, Fort Bragg, CA

"Gwyneth’s songs have a strength showing both sense of place and an ability to tell a story. Her voice has a power which brings her songs to life and makes her a compelling performer.” 
—  Bill Wagman, KDVS/ Davis, CA

“Blessed with a great voice, terrific songwriting ability and an extremely pleasant way of presenting a song, Gwyneth’s new release is sure to please.” 
—  Bill Bowker, KRSH/Santa Rosa, CA

Beautifully stark and chilly, captured into 2 mics, paired to the bones it’s the better for it, wonderful rootsy tunes, complimented by the background noise of breezes, birds – you feel like you’re peering into the mechanics of the creation process.
- Rudie Humphries, Americana UK
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"The result is a singer/songwriter LP with the warmth and intimacy of a small house show." 
- Brice Ezell, PopMatters
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"Boldly eschewing the unnecessary and the superfluous to strip things back to the essence of genuinely intimate songwriting means she has created a record of stunning simplicity and feeling, which is undeniably moving and affecting." 
- The Mad Mackerel
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“'Pine Box Sailor', a beautifully simple folk tune that’s calm and relaxing. Her music tells a familiar story but does so in a subtle and entertaining fashion." 
- Magnet Magazine
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Her music is bare but emotionally present, as if her songs were captured spontaneously as she played on her front porch in the last few hours of a spring evening. Running through strands of Americana and early folk music, she finds a beauty and emotional restlessness in unadorned words and sounds. 
—Joshua Pickard - Nooga.com
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"Moreland’s voice on this album is so authentic to the genre that we initially thought we were listening to something remastered from the 70s and not a new release." 
- Matthew Harrison, RadioInfo.com
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"We knew there was something special when we saw Gwyneth Moreland in concert with David Hayes last December... sold out show, huge applause, standing ovations and even an occasional scream. Now, just a year later, Gwyneth & David have somehow managed to bottle that magic with Ceilings, Floors, And Open Doors... intimate, musical and as open to the world as the studio they recorded in."
—Tom Yates - KOZT


"Recorded under the sparest of conditions -- apparently just two microphones and an open door -- Gwyneth Moreland's "Little Black Flies" finds the Northern Californian in a timeless, contemplative folk mood that lingers long after the small but lovely song is through." 
- KDHX
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"We are really looking forward to hearing the rest of this album." 
- Katie Sevigny - Lady Indie

"Maybe roots music, in the context of Americana, has become an increasingly popular genre over the last 10 years because it has the ability to span across blues, country and rock-and-roll. And so someone who plays a little blues can also say they're "Americana" if they put a little twang into it. But there's not many who combine all the elements as fluently as Gwyneth Moreland.”
—Monica Stark - The Ukiah Daily Journal


"From out of the Northern California redwoods on the beautiful Mendocino Coast comes a talent so unique, it makes me want to shout it from the hilltops to the world-wide airwaves."
—DJ Larry Hacken - KZYX

"What strikes me about Gwyneth’s music is the breadth of styles, and the refreshing straightforwardness of her writing. She speaks her mind in her poetry, and is not afraid to set up a musical expectation that shifts gears in unexpected ways. She evokes the lurch of the tavern and the comfort of home with a playful and poignant lyricism wrapped in clear musical arrangements."
—David Remedios - Sound Designer and Composer, Boston MA