Following the meditative, relationship-focused “Chasin’ Indigo,” Carley Arrowood is back with another original, “Moondancer” — this one a spirited story that, like this spring’s fiery instrumental, “Tsali’s Run,” draws inspiration from the singer-songwriter’s native western North Carolina mountains and their Cherokee heritage.
Following the meditative, relationship-focused “Chasin’ Indigo,” Mountain Home Music Company’s Carley Arrowood is back with another original, “Moondancer” — this one a spirited story that, like this spring’s fiery instrumental, “Tsali’s Run,” draws inspiration from the singer-songwriter’s native western North Carolina mountains and their Cherokee heritage.
The song’s mysterious vibe is established from the opening notes, laid down by Arrowood’s husband, Daniel Thrailkill, on guitar and guest Jeff Partin (Rhonda Vincent & the Rage) on dobro, before Arrowood enters to establish the story’s foundation:
Tonight the moon is dancin’ on a blanket of snow,
Ridin’ on a cold mountain breeze
There’s a whisper on the wind that tells the story of a girl
A free spirited, untrammeled Cherokee
Yet as the tale unfolds it turns out that its real protagonist is not the unnamed girl, but “a mare of satin white, all aglow,” pursued — but never caught — by the girl, whose longing eventually resolves into a realization that the magical horse is “just a kindred spirit better left untamed.” Fittingly, the chorus offers little more than Arrowood’s voicing of the girl’s call to Moondancer, framed by burnished harmonies from husband Thrailkill and sister Autumn Arrowood Watson, while the ensemble of Thrailkill, Partin (who doubles on upright bass), Nick Dumas on mandolin, banjoist Tabitha Benedict and master drummer Tony Creasman underlines the sense of motion conveyed by the lyric.
“‘Moondancer’ is a bittersweet story I hope folks will enjoy,” says Arrowood. “I absolutely love the mysterious, mystical feel we were able to create with it. Last year at IBMA we got to share a raw version of it in the Songwriter Showcase, and earlier this year it won the Hazel Dickens Song Contest, so I’m just really excited to have the final studio version out everywhere!”
About Carley Arrowood
Carley Arrowood is already somewhat of a veteran when it comes to the bluegrass music scene. Touring for five years with Darin and Brooke Aldridge found her gracing notable stages all over the country, including 13 appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, as well as overseas performances in Prague and Ireland. Now a thriving solo artist, Carley continues to catch ears with a style that is truly all her own. Her 2022 release Goin' Home Comin' On found its way to the bluegrass radio charts, and her newest set of music (set for release in 2023) encapsulates her contemporary acoustic style even more with her cutting-edge fiddling, singing and songwriting. Her forthright delivery of every song shows an uncommon poise for so young an artist and tells her listeners that she knows exactly what she wants to say.