Cheyenne Marie Mize at Schubas | Concert preview
Louisville songstress steps out from Will Oldham’s shadow.
Sprung from the soil of Louisville, Kentucky, Cheyenne Marie Mize made her bones bowing violin and singing harmony beside Bonnie “Prince” Billy. That musical relationship blossomed into shared billing with the man behind Bonnie, Will Oldham, on 2009’s Among the Gold, a sublime ode to old-world nostalgia that delicately pairs their very different voices—Oldham’s handsome, if creaky, bass and Mize’s soothing, unblemished singing.
Striking out on her own, Mize moves further into more contemporary styles, though a bluesy undercurrent persists, spiked with soulful flights. She clings to those folk roots, but her pipes could easily be repurposed for mainstream pop. A new release on Yep Roc, We Don’t Need, takes steps in that direction. Highlighting her skills on guitar and piano as well, it’s a chameleonic collection that makes up in range what it lacks in continuity.
The opening cut, “Wishing Well,” is a peppy, percussion-powered country-blues stomp showcasing her sturdy voice. The mood teeters throughout the rest of the EP, between both light and dark shades. Think of it as a sampler, capturing this Southern songbird’s many moods.