Ted Cline’s “Mexican Ana”

Ted Cline’s “Mexican Ana” is the latest winning single from a singer/songwriter and multi-faceted musician who has labored many years in the country music world. He has long since earned the respect of his peers and, without question, few if any have left a live performance he participated in feeling like they didn’t get their money’s worth, but only in recent years has Cline’s attention turned towards establishing himself as a solo artist. Songs such as this prove, beyond question, that he has learned his musical lessons well. He additionally now brings a level of maturity to his work that deepens its overall effects in ways that wouldn’t have been available to him as a young man. The crowning touch for this performance, in my view, is how Cline surrounds himself with a first class cadre of fellow talented music lovers and their contributions help make this track a rousing listen.

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Cline and his cohorts demonstrate the ability to invoke another musical culture in convincing fashion. Life in the Nashville area and Cline’s homebase in Kasas City doesn’t naturally lend itself to Hispanic musical fare, but that doesn’t stand in his way. His multi-instrumental talents, his ability to collaborator so well with others, and his songwriting acumen point towards Cline being a true musical savant capable of capturing the spirit of music outside his youthful experience. This is an unusual gift in any era, but even more so today.

Longtime fans of country will recall tracks such as Marty Robbins’ “El Paso” and, while I don’t claim there’s anything more than a superficial resemblance between the songs, “Mexican Ana” made me remember that timeless country classic. The guitar playing shares the same fidelity to the flamenco style with its brief bursts of lyricism and dramatic melodies, but the other parts are dynamic and attention-grabbing as well. You will not find a single musical ingredient misjudged in this track. It is measured and laser-focused throughout.

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It never sounds staid or inert, however.  It has an excellent moderate pace and the percussion gives it a sense of urgency without overplaying. The arrangement and vocal complement one another rather than existing in opposition; they never mimic each other, but they clearly tailor their strengths in complementary ways. Nothing about “Mexican Ana” sounds contrived. Cline takes his self-professed label of “country music done right” very seriously and, even if this tracks breaks with the prototypical “Nashville” sound, it nonetheless relies on the same authentic approach at the heart of Cline’s music.

This is music born out of love. I have a suspicion Cline would continue writing songs and playing music even if he never played another gig or release another song; expressing himself through music is hard-wired into his DNA. “Mexican Ana” has the ease and lack of self-consciousness we hear in the best songs, regardless of genre; it comes across as natural as breathing rather than sounding plotted out, cookie cutter, and manufactured. Ted Cline, come what may, will be following this musical path for the remainder of his days. Long may he travel.

Nicole Killian

The music of Ted Cline has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division.  Learn more https://musikandfilm.com

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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