Cindy Kalmenson and the Lucky Ducks
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Cindy Kalmenson and the Lucky Ducks

Ojai, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Ojai, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Americana Country


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Performing SOngwriter Mag"

Performing Songwriter Magazine Jan. 2003
DIY (Did It Yourself)
Produced by Cindy Kalmenson and Jon Randall

Stunning songwriter and singer and founder of the popular Girls With Guitars collective, Cindy Kalmenson is back with another lovely, intelligent release. Witness follows up her impressive 1998 debut Let Me Out Here and exceeds it in self-assured, accomplished writing. On Witness, Kalmenson's voice is a cross between the bright sweetness of Nanci Griffith and the emotional complexity of Patty Griffin. It absolutely glides over backing tracks played by the likes of Dave Pomeroy, Pat Bergeson and Al Perkins. Lyrically, Kalmenson is biting ("Hobo Rock Star"), plaintive ("Imagine That") and multilingual ("Gracias a la Vida"). Throughout, she is smart, adept and masterful. - Jan '03


California-raised Cindy Kalmenson has been in Nashville for a little over six years, working the songwriting haunts and playing regular gigs with the Girls With Guitars. This, her second album, is a minor gem that should be in the hands of every reader of Maverick. Co-produced by Cindy and Jon Randall,with the acclaimed Brent Truitt and Ben Wisch being involved in the mixing and recording and a whole host of the finest session players (Pat Bergeson, Dave Pomeroy, Larry Atamanuik, Al Perkins, Lisa Silver, Steve Conn, Bob Ickes, Stuart Duncan, etc, should whet your appetite), this is quality music of the highest order. Then when you add in Cindy's superb songwriting and distinctive vocal work that touches all the emotional hot-spots, you have an indispensable album.Maturing as an artist involves graduating to different lyrical subject matter, especially on a second album. Such is the case with Kalmenson. She wrote nine of the ten of the songs and explores different emotional territory. The title song a folky, self-penned mantra to the strength of a woman certainly demonstrates the singer-songwriter's passion for other women in a difficult relationship. Even In The Rain is superbly written and produced, with a chorus hook as instant as getting wet in the rain and guitar lines throughout that keep you interested in every note that follows. In My Dreams ambles along with a host of elements perfectly suited to a Sunday brunch: plucked guitars and mandolin, easygoing percussion, and a touch of steel. She and her Nashville pickers make this sound as eloquent and contemporary as can be. Play it again and again and remember the name:
Alan Cackett
Sept. 02 - UK

"Singer Magazine"

Cindy Kalmenson has such a unique voice and singing style that it's nearly impossible to listen to her CDs without hitting the repeat button after every song. And with each listen, a previously unnoticed lick or lyric is revealed. A bundle of exuberance, energy and talent, Cindy writes and performs very accessible music that is one third each country, folk and pop. If her melodies don't get their hooks into you, the lyrics will.

On Cindy's second CD, Witness, much of the material comes right from the heart, but there's also a balance of comic relief from the mind with a keen, yet wry wit. Her sweet and powerful vocals shine through equally on soulful tunes like "Right or Wrong" and "Even in the Rain" or one of lighter gems like "Good Bad Habit" or "Man of My Dreams." Without a doubt, her best effort on this CD is the title song, which won first place in the prestigious 2002 Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest, and more recently brought down the house as the final number at Singer Magazine's Indie Artist Showcase at Summer NAMM in Nashville.

The CD is produced by Jon Randall and features a host of Nashville's best musicians, including Randall on guitar and mandolin, Pat Bergeson on guitar and harmonica, Brent Truitt on mandolin, Dave Pomeroy on bass, Larry Atamanuik on percussion and drums, Al Perkins on pedal steel, Bob Ikes on dobro and Stuart Duncan on fiddle.

If you like this CD, and I see no reason why you won't, you'll definitely want to catch Cindy live at the first possible opportunity, even if you have to drive to Nashville. -R.L. - For WItness 2002

"Sing Out! Winter 2002"

Cindy follow up CD, Witness veers more toward pop than folk. She delivers a highly polished performance , co-produced by Jon Randall. THe production which includes the expected guitars, bass, drums, pedal steel and occasional Hammond B# on most songs and some simple accompaniment on a few, sounds cohesive and never overpowers Kalmenson’s pleasing voice. Kalmenson pens catch lyrics and melodies that keep you listenin. The songs are almost all love songs viewed from a variety of angles. “Even in the Rain” paints sa stark, vivid picture of a couple where the self destructive man gives little back, yet they still love each other. The following “Good Bad Habit” is a wonderfully funky humorous song about our foibles, and trying to find one not too dangerous bad habit for her to get over a lost love. This CD stands easily on its content. If you’re looking for an up and coming new artist with plenty of talent, check out Witness. - RWarr - R. Warr


Cindy Kalmenson's tales of bittersweet romance and rock 'n' roll revelry make her second album, Witness (Big Gack Records) a perfectly sublime treasure, the stuff that could easily steer her towards stardom. While other artists rely solely on cookie cutter melodies or aping an attitude, Kalmenson mines a perfect blend of irresistible tunes and sly, provocative lyrics. Indeed, songs such as "Imagine That" and "Good Bad Habit" are fueled by a sense of irony and intelligence, two elements that allow her to stand apart from the competition. The title track alone is well worth the cost of admission, a heartbreaking rumination about watching a friend (lover?) self-destruct. Taken in tandem with the other lovely ballads that
dominate this set, Witness provides ample testimony to her engaging
abilities. - Jan 2003

"The Amplifier"

Possessing an indescribably unique voice, sharp lyrical acumen, and permeating personality, Kalmenson is equal parts enigmatic grace and fun-loving sass. This second release, co-produced by Jon Randall and Kalmenson, is stunning in its beauty -- the wistful and gorgeous title track (where the self-destructive mate is told "I don't wanna be, I don't wanna be a witness/There's a difference between living your life/And waiting to die") won 1st place at this year's MerleFest, and the compelling "Right or Wrong", which would be on radio if Cindy were on a major label, took 3rd place. She can charm you with the depth of her expressiveness on "Even in the Rain" and "Imagine That," then disarm you to involuntary broad smiles with the nicely-off-kilter "Hobo Rock Star" and "Good Bad Habit."If you're in Nashville, catch Kalmenson at one of the Girls With Guitars shows at Douglas Corner or 3rd & Lindsley. Outside Nashville, visit or write Big Gack Records, P. O. Box 158059, Nashville, TN 37215 and get one of this year's top releases anywhere. - Bowling Green, KY

"Why Isn't She A Star"

Why Isn't She A Star?, (03/06/03)
Why isn't Cindy Kalmenson a major star? She's got the voice, sort of a Dolly Parton soulful soprano which she uses with intelligence and humor, and she's surely got the songs, as the nine originals on Witness, her second CD, illustrate. Once you've heard the Folk-friendly ballad "Even in the Rain," you won't forget this man, this woman, or their relationship. In a different mood, Witness offers searingly intimate portraits of the emotions of despair, love, and loss -- and the strength needed to face them. The poignant, intimate "Washington Street" suggests that we may not know all about those we love -- but then maybe we don't need to. "Imagine That" and "Right or Wrong" offer insight about two sides of a similar story, the former turning away a lover who seems to have changed his mind and the latter a soulful look at a woman who isn't changing hers. A former Spanish teacher, Kalmenson adds a vivid cover of "Gracias a La Vida" ("Thanks to Life"), a song by Chilean writer Violetta Parra which gives thanks that even the smallest and most unlikely bits of life enrich the journey to love. It really wouldn't be a Cindy Kalmenson project without a dash of humor, too, and here it's found on three songs, "Good Bad Habit," "Hobo Rock Star," and especially "Man of My Dreams." One listen to Witness and you'll have to listen again, and you'll not forget the characters you meet or the insight of the writer who has created them.

Side note: Kalmenson lives in Nashville, and the respect she's held in there shows in the quality of the players who sat in with her on this disc, including drummer Larry Atamanuik, bass player Dave Pomeroy, mandolinist Brent Truitt, keyboard player Steve Conn, guitarist Pat Bergeson, and guitarist, sometime harmony vocalist, and producer Jon Randall. - Kerry Dexter for

"Music Row Mag"

A little bit of everything, including a surprise finale.

There are fine efforts by industry veterans such as Johnny Bush, Eddy Arnold and, especially, Tony Booth. By the sound of his new disc, Tony is aging like fine wine. His burnished vocal tone is a sublime listening pleasure

Incoming female singer-songwriters Cindy Kalmenson and P.J. Price were also highlights. Dave Pomeroy’s production of Cindy’s CD is terrific, since he surrounded her with some of Music City’s session best.

Three-million-selling Taylor Swift is back with another winner. This one is a particular showcase for her producer, Nathan Chapman. His audio work here shines.

Writer: C. Kalmenson; Producer: Dave Pomeroy & Cindy Kalmenson; Publisher: Tropical Penguins, BMI; Big Gock (track) (
—This breezy bopper is propelled by a rolling rhythm track. Her feathery, likable delivery is backed by dobro tickling by Rob Ickes and a harmony vocal by the equally esteemed Jon Randall. Very ear opening and very, very good.

- Review for I'm NOt Leaving

"Music Row Mag"

What at first seemed like a rather lackluster listening session gradually turned out to be a triumph for at least one corner of our industry. I refer to the outstanding output by the women of Americana. You think of this genre in terms of Lucinda Williams, Emmylour Harris , Patty Griffin , Kelly Willis and it other feminine leading lights. But there were a group of discs in this months's listening session that deserve to take their places alongside the finest of what is already a superlative musical field. I usrge you to lend your ears to the works of Annie Burns, Cindy Kalmenson, Pieta Brown and Lynn Miles as well as to runners up Rattlesnake Annie and florence Dore. I assure you your attention will be more than rewarded.

CIndy Kalmenson/ Witness song review

Her aching folk sorprano brushes up emotionally against dobro and acoustic guitar. Hushed harmonies on the choruses add to the poignancy. This Nashvillian has a really special gift.
- review for Witness

"I'm Not Leaving (2008)"

CINDY KALMENSON CD RELEASE SHOW In a town known for its lyrical literalism, it’s rather ironic that singer-songwriter Cindy Kalmenson is releasing a new album titled I’m Not Leaving—named for a breezy folk-rock track with a chorus that asserts “Tennessee’s been good to me…I’m not leaving this town / I’m only leaving you�—since rumor has it that she’s moving to California soon. That’s a shame, since Kalmenson—founder and host of the long-running Girls With Guitars songwriter night—can write a strong hook and clothe it in rich, fresh storytelling. Plus she sings with a pleasing combination of delicate sensuality and sung-spoken rock attitude that lands somewhere on the slightly softer side of Kathleen Edwards or Sheryl Crow. Her songs benefit from the touch of bass master Dave Pomeroy (who co-produced the album with her), Dobro wizard Rob Ickes and guitar talent Pat Bergeson. 6 p.m. at Douglas Corner —JEWLY HIGHT - The Nashville Scene(Critics Pick)


I have 3 CDs: Let Me Out HEre 1997, Witness 2002 and I'm NOt Leaving 2008. I've had songs in movies, HBO and covered by other artists. HEre are some awards:

Winner of the 2010 West Coast Songwriting assoc. best song for Alabama Bliss
Nominee for SOng of the YEar for I'm Not LEaving (LA music awards)
Nominee for album of the Year for I'm NOt LEaving (LA music awards)
Finalist USA songwriting competition for One Earth 2008
1st place Winner of the International Songwriting Contest for best country song: 2003
Spotlight artist in the Performing Songwriter Magazine Dec. 2003
1st place Winner of the 2002 Chris Austin song writing contest at Merlefest
3rd place Winner of the 2002 Chris Austin song writing contest at Merlefest
1st place Winner of South Florida Folk Festival Song Contest '03 for best Up Tempo song:
1st place Winner for best Americana song for Hobo Rock Star by Just Plain Folks 2002
A finalist at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival and Falcon ridge folk festival songwriter showcases
DIY pick for Witness (CD) in Jan '03 issue of Performing Songwriter
DIY pick for Let Me Out Here (CD) Sept. ‘98 issue of Performing Songwriter
Witness(CD) top 10 CDs of '02 by the Santa Monica Mirror and Folkwax best of
Witness (CD) wins 3rd place for best americana record of '02 by Just Plain Folks



Most of my favorite music is from the great singer songwriters I heard in the 70's and early 80's: Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, BOnnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris. They inspired me to  hit the road and go to Nashville in 1995 where I lived for 14 years learning from all the great writers I met on a variety of stages. I recorded 3 CDs in Nashville and won some prestigious songwriting awards. I love to perform. I've traveled the world singing and selling my CDs. At 44, I had a beautiful girl, got married, not in that order, and moved back to California . Now after 6 years in Ojai and fronting a popular band including petal steel, bass, drums and guitar, with others sitting in on occasion. We have been playing on a weekly basis in Ojai for 6 years now.  Presently we are in residency at the Deer Lodge on Wednesday nights.  We enjoy rounding out my catalogue of originals with our favorite covers including Neil Young, Emmy Lou Harris, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow. 

Band Members