Sunday, September 26, 2010

Margaret Durante, "Mississippi's Cryin'"

Margaret Durante made her first bid for country radio airplay last year with a lackluster cover of a Kings of Leon pop hit.  The passing of a year finds her signed with the newly-formed Emrose division of the independent Stroudavarious label.  She now hits country radio with the single "Mississippi's Cryin'," and will release a seven-song EP later this year.

The single's main asset is a set of lyrics that are packed with emotion.  The song describes the painful breakup of a relationship.  As this woman watches her man drive away, dark clouds gather in the sky as the whole state of Mississippi starts "cryin'."  The tormented narrator gropes for reasons why her man has left her, but she and Mississippi have figured one thing out - he "ain't comin' back."  The geographical reference to Mississippi, along with some weather-related imagery, make the song even more interesting without distracting from the story that it tells.

The instrumental arrangement could have used a little more polish, as the existing line-up does little to compliment Margaret's vocals.  However, Margaret's performance has enough focus, power, and emotional connection to cut through the clutter. The loose production is a very minor detail in comparison with the many qualities that make this single great. 

The song reaches an emotional height at the bridge when Margaret implores "Where you goin' baby?/ What's in Tennessee?/ You never said a word about Memphis, so who is she?"  At that point, Margaret's tearstained vocal delivery just might have the listener crying along with her and Mississippi.

"Mississippi's Cryin'" might not make many waves commercially, but Margaret's showstopping performance still makes it a strong single that is well worth a listen.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)

(To hear this song, click "Cool New Music")