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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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April 2018

1
Courtney Marie Andrews
100 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
PK,CVL,DHO,JB,LK
2
Mary Gauthier
59 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
3
Caleb Caudle
49 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
TJ,TK,MP
4
Western Centuries
48 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
DD,GS,FS,HM
5
Vivian Leva
44 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
 
6
Ed Romanoff
42 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
7
Grant Peeples
41 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental
AN
8
Joan Baez
32 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
 
9
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
29 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
MF,HDB
 
Sam Morrow
29 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
JV
11
Chris Smither
27 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
JSM,JD
12
Michael McDermott
26 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
CRS
13
John Prine
24 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
SP
14
Mary Chapin Carpenter
23 pts.
Sometimes Just The Sky
Lambent Light Records
 
15
Dean Owens
22 pts.
Southern Wind
At The Helm
PJ
16
6 String Drag
21 pts.
Top of The World
Schoolkids Records
FCE,JS
 
Haley Heynderickx
21 pts.
I Need To Start A Garden
Mama Bird Recordings
 
 
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
21 pts.
Tearing At The Seams
Stax Records
RM
19
Abe Partridge
20 pts.
Cotton Fields And Blood For Days
Skate Mountain
MVP,RK
 
Adam James Sorensen
20 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
BM
 
Ben Reel
20 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
 
 
Chip Taylor
20 pts.
Fix Your Words
Train Wreck Records
LM
 
Kesia Nagata
20 pts.
Looking For Horses
Caramal Productions
GC,EZ
 
Sheesham & Lotus & 'Son
20 pts.
Clear The Table
SepiaPhone Records
SZ,PG
25
3hattrio
18 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
 
 
Marlon Williams
18 pts.
Make Way for Love
Dead Oceans

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