Sunday, August 12, 2007

Catherine Howe

"What A Beautiful Place" 1971

A beautiful early 70s debut LP from a then 20-year-old, Halifax reared Catherine Howe -- produced and arranged by US jazz pianist Bobby Scott in a mode that manages to feel lush and opulent while never belying Catherine's warmth, intimacy and maturity -- and quite possibly the best unearthed singer-songwriter folk gem we've heard in years! The sound is warmly baroque, and Catherine's lovely vocals and evocative songwriting style is sheerly natural -- recorded in a fairly stripped down setting and fleshed out with strings by the London Symphony Orchestra. The mix of intimacy and grandeur makes the record a bit of stylistic cousin to Nick Drake's Bryter Layter -- we take our Drake seriously and we don't throw that comparison out lightly! Released by a doomed Reflection Records, which closed up shop the same year, it was pretty much automatically relegated to obscurity. Now, thankfully is a fertile time for the rediscovery post 60s folkish gems -- and this one is at the very top of the line. Would you expect anything less from the Numero Group? Titles include "Up North", "On A Misty Morning", "Nothing More Than Strangers", "My Child", "The Innocence Of A Child", "It Comes With The Breezes" and more -- plus the bonus demo "In The Hot Summer" -- which led to the next phase of Catherine's career at RCA.

7 Comments:

Anonymous SCION said...

Another very nice one, o reptilian brother!

Good job!

12 August, 2007 03:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, A very beautiful album indeed. And I dare say that whereas there are frequent comparisons of singers to Sandy Denny, this is one case that holds for vocal styling, themes and, yes, a tendency for occasional overproduction, as with Sandy's "Old Fashioned Waltz" LP, for examle. Thanks.

12 August, 2007 03:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic share again, lizardson!!!!
Thank you very much for another wonderful album!!

Greetings
bobdylan

12 August, 2007 20:23  
Anonymous Karel said...

Thanks a lot!!

23 September, 2007 21:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was looking for Sandy Denny but this is stunningly beautiful music. Many Thanks!!

24 September, 2007 15:04  
Blogger sophisticatedbeggar said...

Thank you, excellent album. Another one that needs to be reissued in vinyl!

05 November, 2007 07:48  
Blogger jimbo100 said...

Thanks what a talent she is

12 July, 2009 19:20  

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