Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Stranger" feels too familiar

Catie Curtis - "Hello Stranger"
Compass Records
-out now


Ms. Curtis' authenticity as a country voice is difficult to question in her tenth album. The Boston-based singer and guitarist has an excellent bluesgrass instrumentation in the backing banjo, fiddle and dobro; the musicians here create a pleasant and enjoyable country ambience throughout the album, especially in the opener, "100 Miles," and the Cat Stevens cover "Tuesday's Dead." The latter is upbeat and excellent, and a John Martyn cover "Don't Want to Know (No Evil)" performes well also, seemingly creeping upon the listener. The album overall, however, is a different story, and much of "Hello, Stranger" feels a bit flat (not pitch-wise), and not enough sticks out memorably; perhaps much of this can be remedied with more powerful vocals. Overall, the album doesn't receive a pass, though the songs listed here are certainly recommended.
Don't forget to check out the interview with Curtis coming out this week...

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