This is Mary Beth Cross’s fourth album, and it is surely her most mature and best. Hailing from Wisconsin, her art is steeped in Americana. This album of original compositions reflects the best of our pioneering spirit, the grit and determination of those who blazed a trail towards the West seeking, beauty, adventure, land, freedom and opportunity. This effort is meant to celebrate the best of that spirit and eschews the darker side of the American Manifest Destiny. Ms. Cross spins her tales in a fetching pure-tone soprano voice that would be ill-suited to the aforementioned darker side.
“Kiss You Goodnight” was inspired by the ordeal of the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 60 days. “Stories Never Told” was inspired by a visit to Dolly’s House Museum, the historic brothel in Ketchikan, Alaska. The title song, “Beyond Good and Evil” was actually inspired by a reading of Nietzsche’s classic book. It reflects her yearning to help create a better world, closing with the line “better to light a candle than waste my life cursing the dark.” A noble sentiment totally unrelated to Nietzsche’s text!
This release should garner Ms. Cross the greater recognition she deserves and help propel her to even greater accomplishments in the future.
– Robert Myers