The last time I saw Genevieve Smith, she was ruling a cello while backing local country punks Bird's Mile Home, so when I approached this album I expected some low-stringed slaying. But it turns out she's as good with strumming guitar and writing songs.
An Invitation For a Dance is more of an invitation to close your eyes and stamp your foot. Right away, Smith's minor key mastery brings you into a world of her words. "You haven't got money, but you sure got time / Reasoning nonsense and making up rhymes / Your bridges have all but burned down," she sings on the first track, "Breaking Bones." The rest stick to Western themes that evoke Murder by Death's storytelling style against a house-show solo guitar.
"Bounty" visits Regina Spektor-esque vocals via unexpected jazzy repetition. Spektor took a few albums to really find her expectable groove, and Smith is only a few minutes short of hitting that.
Genevieve Smith plays Zoo City Apparel Sat., Aug. 11, at 8 PM. $5/$8 to attend this show plus the one at the VFW.