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CATIE CURTIS —HELLO STRANGER (Compass)

www.compassrecords.com www.catiecurtis.com
Oh, boy what a stunning title track! Not only do we have Curtis partnered by good ol’ gal, Mary Gauthier on the A.P Carter classic but the two ladies create a sound akin to Hazel (Dickens) and Alice (Gerrard) and who recorded the song back in the 1970s on Rounder. Praise does not come much higher than this and it is not the only cover singer-songwriter Curtis gives a notable airing, for she also covers Richard Thompson’s ‘Walking On A Wire’; and what a beautiful, hand-crafted version she does of the classic. Likewise is the case with Cat Stevens’ ‘Tuesday’s Dead’ —that has Curtis blossom as a vocalist and, how about the wonderful banjo, guitar, fiddle and bass support she is given.

Also an import we have Curtis with the aid of splendid fiddle and banjo tackle the late John Martyn’s ‘Don’t Want To Know (No Evil)’ (that contains some modal-style claw-hammer banjo to give it strong hints of mountain music), Don White’s excellent mid-tempo piece and the low-key love ballad ‘I Wish I Knew How’ (B. Taylor, D. Dallas). As for her own compositions that she shine the brightest, the back woods-ish ‘Passing Through’ written with Mark Erelli and previously on her Long Night Moon album possesses a familiar sentiment it enjoys the benefit of Stuart Duncan’s fabulous fiddle work and the distinctive harmony vocals of Darrell Scott this time around. Plus, George Marinelli (mandolin, acoustic, resophonic guitar) also figures heavily on the track, and like with Duncan who, also donates claw-hammer banjo and mandolin on the album their talent dovetail perfectly alongside Curtis’ well-pitched tones.

With a surfeit of riches accompanying her and co-label boss, Garry West produce the record Curtis comes of age so to speak on this her tenth album. Such is her work on her own song ‘Dad’s Back Yard’, her friend Mary Gauthier would be proud to have written it she has to a degree edged away from simply being a singer-songwriter to that of a recording artiste. That is not to say she wasn’t already but with the likes of Kenny Malone (drums, percussion), Todd Phillips (acoustic bass) and Alison Brown (banjo, guitar) and others in tow Catie has a more rounded and accessible sound.

Other songs of note include the impassioned claw-hammer plied ‘Deliver Me’ and of a rambling, gospel-ish feel ‘Saint Lucy’ has Curtis punch her weight —as Duncan and Marinelli stoke the fire and help Catie kick up a ruckus as her music embraces a pure Americana feel. Is it country, is it folk? We shall call it both since it has the force and verve of something good ol’ country boy Billy Joe Shaver could have written (and been rightly proud of). What fine imagery is pained by Curtis as she throws of the shackles and goes for it.
Maurice Hope

Heres a Track from Katys last album and here upcoming dates

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Here she is in action recently Catie Curtis with Alana Arean & Natalia Zukerman, Hello Stranger, Joe's Pub NY Sept 09

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May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
6
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
7
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
9
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
10
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
JV
11
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
 
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
HD
 
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
KG
 
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Volunteer
Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
17
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Gliding
Eight 30 Records
RST,RH
20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Independent
HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

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