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CD REVIEW: Cathy Richardson Band - Snake Camp
By Ben Ohmart - 08/12/2001 - 04:41 PM EDT

Artist: Cathy Richardson Band
Album: Snake Camp
CD Review: The REASON Cathy Richardson (and band) have been Featured in Billboard, Playgirl, Backstage Pass, Chicago Tribune, Variety,, New York Times, and Time Out, among others, is because of The Voice. Not just one more voice fronting yet another rock band, but something special.

Indeed, to list Cathy’s credits and previous praises would be enough of a concise review. But before that, let’s talk about the strength of Cathy’s vocals. Like Melissa Etheridge and the daring punch of the Indigo Girls, Cathy gives out a brawny aura of burning bridges and not caring where the matches come from. She don’t take guff, she doesn’t worry who gets laid out in the rear view mirror. Whatever she’s like at home, this is what pushes ahead of her 10 track cd.

‘Never Gave Up On Love’ is brash and bold, with the definitive 70s vocal group of women behind her, screaming solo guitar in the left speaker, drums crashing overhead, rock hard and no holds bared, all tender, fleshy emotions bared. ‘Even as the bitter wind was blowin’ across my heart. Even as the rain was pourin’ in. Never heard a bitter word though the pain had left its mark. I always thought that love was just around the bend.’

‘My Worse Enemy’ takes a slightly softer side and skins it alive. A little country-fied, somewhat folk-inspired, the memories and passions run high, as usual for Cathy. You get the feeling this is one broad who can piss standing up. ‘I hardly ever write and I rarely rehearse. So, I’m finding it hard to begin the first verse. Let me just say that my life is a curse. I am my own worse enemy.’

Credit time! CR Band was voted BEST BAND in a Fox News ‘Best of Chicago’ Poll in 2000. Ditto in a Chicago Tribune Readers Poll in 1999. Cathy played the lead in the Chicago version of Love, Janis, the musical story of Janis Joplin, which then landed her the role in the acclaimed Off-Broadway production. NY Times said ‘Cathy Richardson’s rendition of Ball and Chain is thrilling!’ Chicago Tribune raves ‘I stand there raptly, as Richardson throws every inch and pound and breath of herself into her number. The effect on me is just as uplifting, electrifying and overpowering as a space launch.’ Chicago Reader goes one better – ‘Cathy Richardson matches Joplin in age, drive and pyrotechnic voice.’

Now, it ain’t often that this reviewer hears this kind of music, helped on by That kind of hype. It’s all true though. You gotta hear this stuff to worship it. She’s also pretty stylish. The cd booklet and unfolding innards of the cd case (especially the way the clock matches the cd), well, it’s utter splash that only drives this release on to beat the big boys. Major labels await, Ms. Richardson…

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