Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
A record that Louisville resident Cheyenne Marie Mize put out last year features her and the Bonnie Prince, Will Oldham dueting on six songs, none of which are younger than 95 years old. The oldest was written in 1864, a song entitled, "Beautiful Dreamer." All of the selections that the two chose for this vinyl EP, which went under the name of "Among The Gold," could be compared to being sockless and shoeless, with kiss residue all over your cheeks, lips and mouth and being there with a heartbreaking and unobstructed view of a sunset that one could die peacefully after seeing. The wind is next to nothing and there's either a scent of spring growth or a fall harvest floating in from the shuffling fields out there, contained between the fence posts. There's pumpkin and apple twisting with the aroma and there's 100 different versions of smoke there as well, dancing as it were, staggering up into the black and the blue. For being as ancient and dusty as they were, the songs on "Among The Gold," do not seem like unlikely candidates to be Mize's own handiwork, all these many years later, the words and melodies of a pretty young woman seeking insight and stability in love. There's nothing dated about the way that people feel love. There's nothing then that seems out of touch now. The courting, the drunkenly happy core of the relationship, the falling apart and the frequently painful aftermath of all matters of the heart are never dated. It's been the same cycle for centuries and centuries and it will last as such for all of eternity. Mize appears to be most interested in the way that things like "the sweet cinder breeze and the whispering trees" - as Oldham sang on the album, at one point - than those pesky matters of boring day-today. It's as if we're given the opportunity to be taken into a fantasy land, where there really is love happening all around you, where there isn't just a theoretical soul mate for every person out there. There is a proven certainty that there is such a person for every other such a person and all it takes to find them is kind and patient time. You can get to that vaunted place where you're wiping away the remaining wetness from smooches and smiling it off. Mize sings early on in the "Among The Gold" album, "Daylight shall come, but in vane," suggesting there is a way for the night's love and passion to block the imposing brightness, the intruding clarity of the waking hours. There is a way to keep sweethearts and their proximity united even when the lights have been turned on. Mize sings with a tantalizing sweetness, a tone that allows you to stretch your head back to that last great and true love that you experienced - the best form of it that ever came your way - and feel as if it never left, as if those prayers for a changing circumstance had finally been answered and there never came a parting. It's as if Mize knows of the ways to speak of and to her heart and all others, singing anew of the many splendors of dreamy love.