A Sensuous Power for the New Year

Kathleen Hoye (ear-X-Tacy Records)

By Jason Koerner

Wow. I don't understand why all the Sarahs, Natalies, and Alanises are not opening concerts for this woman. This CD is powerful in the most sensuous of ways. The voice of Kathleen Hoye is like silk, yet it has enough power behind it to tow a car.

What I found in Delilah was a captivating listening experience, not just another recording. I can't listen to it in my car while driving because it takes away too much of my attention. I could get a ticket for DUILKH (Driving Under the Influence of Listening to Kathleen Hoye).

I hear several influences in the sound, but I cannot put my finger on any one of them and say, "She sounds just like (fill in the blank). The music is almost hauntingly familiar, yet you cannot remember where and when you first heard it. The arrangements of the songs are well executed, the string accompaniments are superb. Those credits go to producer Jeffrey Smith. The warm strings layered perfectly on top of an already beautiful piece in "Gratitude" are a good example of his work. In contrast, the very next song (and final tune on the CD) is a piece entitled "Patricia's Song" that is removed from the high-quality studio techniques. It is basic and bare with Hoye on acoustic guitar and vocals, Dave Barrick on snare drum, and Jeffrey Smith on upright bass. The song boasts the phrase, "Everybody has a shadow...even you." It proves to the listeners that all the studio stuff is helpful and nice, but ultimately not necessary.

The credit belongs to Hoye, a host of musicians credited on the album, and producer Jeffrey Smith. The end result is a piece that encompasses a number of different musical elements from a wide range of musical backgrounds. All these ideas came together to create the first must-have Louisville music CD of the year.