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: