"Blue Stories"


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CD: Blue Stories

Mindy Jostyn releases "Blue Stories" (Prime CD Records)

She's an acclaimed singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, but Mindy Jostyn could just as easily be a professional storyteller. "Blue Stories" is a collection of bittersweet tales that combine pathos and humor to explore themes of love, loss, home, history, and repentance.

"'Blue Stories' is an album of songs about people and their plights," says Mindy. "But I've tried to treat these people compassionately. I'd prefer that listening to the CD not be an experience in darkness - rather, one in a semi-pale shade of blue. Twilight blue, say, with a smattering of stars."

"Blue Stories" introduces the listener to a cast of colorful characters from all walks of life. Among them: a guy who's searching for an "empathetic woman"; a "loner" who's always on the outside looking in; a First Lady who was "the last to know" that her husband was cheating on her; a former high-roller who finds himself down and out on "Rock City Road"; and two New Yorkers chasing that elusive big break in the "city of blue stories."

As is the case with her previous CD's, "Blue Stories" showcases Mindy's soulful voice, distinctive melodies, and insightful and witty lyrics. Plus it features her on a host of different instruments including guitar, violin, mandolin, harmonica, accordion, piano, synth, and recorder. The new CD also incorporates a wide range of musical styles from folk to blues to Celtic to rock to jazz.

Mindy's co-lyricist on "Blue Stories" is Jacob Brackman whose prior musical collaborators include James Taylor, Dr. John, Steve Winwood, Jerry Ragavoy, and Carly Simon. In fact, one of the cuts on the CD is a haunting version of Brackman and Simon's hit "That's the Way I've Always Heard it Should Be."

"Blue Stories" was recorded on two very different islands - Martha's Vineyard and Manhattan. Joining Mindy on the CD are some of the finest singers and instrumentalists from both islands, including Carly Simon who lends her voice and instrumental talents to "Don't Turn Away" and "East of Eden."

Mindy describes a bit about the Blue Stories audio samples available on this site:

Sam's Back With Sadie -- two women talking in a quickstop, in a small town where they've lived too long, overheard by a third woman, me. Neo-celtic.

Don't Turn Away -- a ballad in the woman-who-loves-too-much vein. She tries to soothe a walking-wounded boy.

Empathetic Woman -- set in a honky-tonk piano bar. It's getting late. Honky-tonk. A downtrodden man's response to a woman's complaints about her hard life.

Rock City Road -- final title of the "name this song about a road" contest. (Congratulations, Herm Templeman). It turns out there's a Rock City Road in two nearby towns (to me) -- Red Hook and Woodstock, NY. There's even an antiques shop called "Rock City Relics" -- a line from the song. Can we hope that in years to come people will describe themselves with this metaphor? Asked "how are you?", folks will reply: "I'm on Rock City Road, man" or "In a Rock City frame of mind". (Even now, if performed within 30 miles of where I live, the hook "Rock City Road" will draw a titter, two small cheers, and isolated pockets of polite applause). My excuse to play train-style harmonica a la Blind Sonny Terry.

That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be -- a despairing view of marriage, written by the guy I'm now married to. A Carly Simon hit in 1970, it is still frequently used for the first wedding dance by misunderstanding couples.


Reviews: Blue Stories

"After taking a year off to have a child, fiddler-pianist-harmonica-player-songwriter Mindy Jostyn is back with a soft thrill of a CD... Blue Stories, (Prime CD.) In a voice sparkling with wit and personality, she sings songs of loss and healing, all delivered with the eloquence that make her a favorite accompanist for Carly Simon, Billy Joel, and John Mellencamp.
-- Scott Alarik, Boston Globe

"On Mindy Jostyn's newly released CD, Blue Stories, her lyrics can be witty commentary, incisive self-examination and moving depictions of the simple truths in life. Her spiritual side comes through on the guitar ballad "Turning it Over to You", in which the clear tone of her alto rings through. Her talking blues style is featured on "Loner" with great guitar and harmonica accompaniment. She evokes a jazz club in the wee hours with "City of Blue Stories," her view of the Big Apple.
-- Jay Miller, Patriot Ledger

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