Retroworld part of record label Floating World has in this twin-cd set, that covers Texas singer-songwriter Katy Moffatt’s early/ mid-1990s albums The Evangeline Hotel, Hearts Gone Wild and Midnight Radio a wonderful coup. Why Moffatt never became a bigger star is beyond me, and many others too since she has a unique emotional singing voice —that pours out emotion like rain clouds in a thunderstorm. Plus, there is a little matter of her fabulous songwriting virtues.
Aided by her friend and songwriting cohort, Tom Russell who likewise shares the duties as producer joins forces on no less than eight songs on arguably the best recording Moffatt has ever made, From The Evangeline Hotel. Since each track stands the test of time, and dare I say it sound better with age to the extent I am tempted to enquire have either act ever written better or produced songs more sensitive? Also, Russell himself wrote ‘From The Evangeline Hotel’ and ‘Amelia’s Railroad Track’ (they don’t better than this) that like a few more are good enough to take top billing on most albums. Coupled with co-writes ‘Step Up to Buy A Ticket’ that on the original album on her Round Tower is called, ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ and ‘Dance Me Outside’ that Katy and her brother, fellow singer-songwriter Hugh Moffatt used for a duet and is featured here as a duet with Russell on an album they recorded and made it the title-track. You also have the wonderful ‘This Heart Stops For Railway Crosses’ are superb story-ballads.
Backed by regulars Andrew Hardin, Hank Bones and Russell —and such noted pickers as David Mansfield and Larry Campbell lend support over the course of the Trilogy the standard is most high.
While I have reservations in regard to her version of her brother’s ‘Slow Movin’ Freight Train’ compared to that done by John Starling —otherwise, ‘Dangerous And Blue, Midnight Radio, the dramatic‘ The Highwayman‘, poignant ‘Sparrow Of Swansea (For Dylan Thomas)’ and a duet with TR ‘Hank And Audrey’ coupled possessing Spanish guitar and fetching harmony vocals ‘The Sound Of One Heart Breaking’ see to it the thrills and quality songs of heartache continue till the final cut! By which time another baker‘s dozen of co-writes from Moffatt and Russell have been added to those of ‘From The Evangeline Heart’ and such delights as a co-write with Sylvia Tyson (‘The Sound Of One Broken Heart’) the free-flowing, Mexican borderland‘s tale ‘Rosa’s Favorite Son’ and on expressing great freedom traditional tune on given additional lyrics and melody ‘Wild Girl’ is given wings.
If you did miss them the first time around then there is no excuse this time, and I bet you will do your best to wear ’em out.
Rob Ellen caught up with Katy at Cromarty Old Brewery for Flyinshoes on October 30th 2009, his video log is here.http://flyinshoes.ning.com/profiles/blogs/katy-moffatt-in-concert-and
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