Helene Cronin is a Texas artist who spent most of 2019 working on a full-length record, produced by Matt King in Nashville. OLD GHOSTS & LOST CAUSES was released to high praise on Oct. 11, 2019. This comes right on the heels of being named a 2018 New Folk Winner at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival. Helene's artistry has drawn comparisons to Lori McKenna, Mary Gauthier, and other songwriters who are known for strong lyrics, unique voices and honest perspectives. She considers her writing style a merger between Americana and Country but she's perhaps best described simply as an acoustic storyteller. Audiences are drawn to her intimate, personal performances and call her raw and vulnerable, saying, "her songs make me think".
"As some already know, [Helene's Cronin's] vivid lyrical abilities are without question. She’s like Leonard Cohen - writes with a good editing pen & produces tight, original tales then adds an invigorating melody." - John Apice, Americana Highways review.
"There’s some of Gretchen Peters’ darkness and incisive poetry in [Helene Cronin's] terrific debut, and that alone should be more than enough for singer-songwriter fans to give Cronin their attention. Cronin is a wordsmith who pulls no punches. Some songs may make you uncomfortable but leave you marveling at her songwriting just the same." - Jim Hynes of Elmore Magazine
"In a world of love songs, Helene Cronin’s songwriting takes unpredictable turns we can all relate to....Cronin creates utterly fresh perspectives that are immediately familiar at the same time..." - Melissa Clarke, Americana Highways, Song Premiere
Her most well-known song "Lucky Me" is based on a conversation with a soldier in the airport and has over 135,000 views on YouTube. It has led to appearances on the Mike Huckabee TV show, for Medal of Honor events and many other military functions.
For 17 years, Helene has maintained a presence in Nashville honing her writing chops in that legendary songwriting community. She writes for her own projects and for the commercial country market. She hosts rounds at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe and performs for coffeehouses, festivals and songwriter events. She often plays in Texas, largely in the Dallas area and has opened for Kathy Mattea, Chris Hillman and Willis Alan Ramsey. She especially loves house concerts, finding that a living room or back yard is the ideal environment for connecting with people.
OLD GHOSTS & LOST CAUSES, as well as Helene's EPs BELONG TO THE RIVER from 2015 and RESTLESS HEART from 2014 are available on streaming services, and her STORE page.
Relating to people through the emotion of music, finding grace in the chaos of life, these are the things that motivate Helene to continue writing and pursuing the musical life that started when she first borrowed her brother's guitar and began to teach herself to play.
Link to interview about "OLD GHOSTS & LOST CAUSES" Kelly's Country Blog
REVIEWS OF "OLD GHOSTS & LOST CAUSES":
Music Row Magazine, DISClaimer column review
"Our DisCovery Award goes to Helene Cronin, yet another example of how women are making some of our best music." - Robert K. Oermann
Review by Americana Highways
"As some already know, HC’s vivid lyrical abilities are without question. She’s like Leonard Cohen — writes with a good editing pen & produces tight, original tales then adds an invigorating melody." - John Apice
Review by Elmore Magazine
"There’s some of Gretchen Peters’ darkness and incisive poetry in Helene Cronin’s terrific debut, and that alone should be more than enough for singer-songwriter fans to give Cronin their attention. Cronin is a wordsmith who pulls no punches. Some songs may make you uncomfortable but leave you marveling at her songwriting just the same." - Jim Hynes
Americana Highways: Premiere of "Careless With a Heart"
"In a world of love songs, Helene Cronin’s songwriting takes unpredictable turns we can all relate to. In an already rich songwriting landscape, Cronin creates utterly fresh perspectives that are immediately familiar at the same time on Old Ghosts & Lost Causes." - Melissa Clarke
Review by Midwest Record
"Holy moley, if this doesn't sound like a lost album from Roseanne Cash's dark period in the 90s, what does? From laboring in the background to winning at Kerrville last year, this folkie is more than ready for her run for the roses.Certainly a dark album, it's one of those ones that finds beauty in pain and leaves you changed when it gets done with you." - Chris Spector
New Album Reviews - Lonesome Highway
"Helene Cronin, after a couple of EPs has released this full length album and with her songwriting and vocal talent has made it one to note. She and producer King can feel the they have achieved something special here that is worthy of the talents of all involved." - Stephen Rapid
Review by "The Country Angel" Kelly's Country
"There are a lot of folks who claim to be songwriters. Some are awesome at their craft, while others can write lyrics but lack a soul. Helene Cronin has both (and then some), melding lyrics and heart into something magical." - Kelly Henkins
Take Effect Review
"Cronin delivers the entire package here, an album that blends together seamlessly from one track to the next, as she explores her vast skill set with imaginative, soulful and unforgettable songwriting that any and all fans of Americana and folk music will enjoy every second of." - Tom Haugen
Review by Don & Sheryl's Blues Blog
"It’s Helene’s deep emotion and honesty that grabs you in this collection." - Don Crow
Review by Sam Pierre, Le Cri du Coyote, France
Helene Cronin has been active for about 20 years....After two EPs released in 2014 and 2015, she has just recorded her first LP, "Old Ghosts & Lost Causes" (independent). This album is not a first try, but it is truly a master stroke. Helene's singing talent is evident, both in acoustic ballads ("Riding The Gray Line", "In A Kiss") and in songs more bluesy ("Mean Bone") or rock ("El Camino Fly"). Her writing skills (she wrote or co-wrote all the titles) are also highlighted, addressing various themes ("Humankind", "Devil I Know", "The Last Cowboy"). The album is superbly produced by Matt King and Helene is accompanied by top musicians: Bobby Terry and Kenny Vaughan on guitars, Byron House on bass and Chad Cromwell on drums. It's an album in which the artist puts all her talent (I should write, her talents) but above all, and that's audible, her whole heart. When she leaves with "Ghost", a nearly six minute ballad, backed only by her guitar, we take the offering as a sign of love from someone who has a lot to give.
Roots Highway Review, Italy
"What immediately captures...is the peculiarity of her music to show us the stories she sings, thus managing to establish an intimate and direct dialogue with us. The tenderness, delicacy, but also the groove and energy that pervade the11 tracks of the album reveal the inner world of the singer-songwriter making it accessible to us and allowing us to take part in it. Helene's delicate and enveloping voice cradles us, comforts us and gives us joy. A timbre that in the most intimate pieces reminds a little of Emmylou Harris, in other more aggressive ones it reminds Stevie Nicks instead." - Sara Fabrizi
QUOTES FROM OTHER ARTISTS:
Helene Cronin can flat out spin a lyric. Her ability to crawl within a subject and pull a story or emotion out the other end is what makes her a brilliant songwriter. Those writing chops delivered with those earthy vocals have made her one of the best artists I’ve heard in a long time. - Terri Hendrix, Performing Songwriter/Artist
I like songs that tell the truth. Helene Cronin's songs do just that. Helene delivers her songs with sheer soul. She invites you into her world and it's a great listen. - Lloyd Maines, Music Producer and Musician.
Helene is a master of words who writes and sings straight from the heart. Each song is a handcrafted mini-movie. - Zane Williams, Texas Artist
Old Ghosts and Lost Causes is easily one of my favorite records in a very long time! It moves me to my core, thanks to Helene's masterful storytelling, her honest vocals and tasty guitar voicings and grooves. She is a modern day Guy Clark possessing the power to transport your imagination - or your soul, from your everyday goings-on, to twists of emotions that will churn the very marrow in your bones. She is a beautiful poet, who, matched with Matt King's keen ear, together have made a stunning body of work here. Helene is as authentic as it gets...and if you're into that kind of music, well...you'd be a fool not to buy this record! - Heidi Newfield, artist
"If you love songs that you can't get out of your head not only because of the cool feel but the lyrics that make you think, you will love this new release by Helene Cronin!"
"The lyrics have such depth and relativity to the listener. She's a hidden treasure just waiting to be found. I love her messages within the songs."
"A refreshing and inspiring set of tunes. I guarantee after you preview the songs you will own the whole set. More, please Helene!"
"This CD made me laugh and cry numerous times! Helene is a talented and inspiring songwriter with such a unique ability to put emotions into the songs she writes."
"This CD will rest your restless heart. These songs tell stories that bring tears to your eyes and make you smile. Gifted songwriter, keep them coming!"
"Stunning song that's sung so well it hurts." (Re: Belong to the River)
"Helene has a way of reaching right into your heart and delicately pulling out a tear with her honest lyric and authentic vocal style. I dare you to leave a Helene Cronin show without something to think about and music you want to share with everyone you love."