IN ROMANCE LANGUAGES (Vanguard)
The queen of the Boston angels shows everyone how it's done, how music rains down goodness, how words and melody can hold love and hope inside them like pods for listeners to break open. That power is not entirely human, and can't be faked. It has to be where the artist is coming from essentially.
Catie's ethereal reading of Mark Sandman's otherworldly song "The Night" contributes dimension and atmosphere, and hallows his memory. It also gives Andrew Mazzone and Jeff Berlin on bass and drums and percussion license to groove deeply in another pocket. I also love the co-write with Jimmy Ryan, "The Trouble You Bring," that has an infectious simple little guitar figure in the chorus that just rocks. It paves the way for Kevin Barry to stretch out a little on guitar, and that relief is well timed. The rhythmic genius of keyboardist Julie Wolf is everywhere on the record, from organ to accordion, and various keyboards in between. Stephanie Winters shines characteristically on cello, and Jimmy Ryan lays down some fine mandolin, we're getting his latest disc.
The monster co-write with Beth Nielsen Chapman, "Cross Over to Me," is a centerpiece on the record, with very tasty guitar by Russell Chudnovsky and harmony vocals by Kris Delmhorst, Mark Erelli, Trina Shoemaker, and Billy Conway on drums. Deb Talan sings beautiful backup on the other numbers.
The height of the artist's star in the acoustic sky is well revealed and deserved throughout this new disc, and her loveableness is powerful, it's a quality worthy of the pause it gives this listener. We'll look forward to an interview with Catie Curtis in the future, and see if we can get a bead on that. We need to collect some records first. We're tickled to hear that a documentary of this positive artist, "Tangled Stories," is due later in 2004.
Dreaming in Romance Languages was masterfully co-produced by the artist and Trina Shoemaker and Tom Dube. It's one of those rare albums that we think the absolute majority of our readership will enjoy, and you can buy it here. FG