Katie Henry – On My Way
Descendants are what matters in music. Crosby, Sinatra, Presley. Horn bands Goodman, Ellington, Count Basie, Blood, Sweat & Tears to Chicago.
And then there’s an artist like Katie Henry who follows in a dual role. With some tunes her linkage follows a prevailing Bonnie Raitt line, however, with songs like “Empty Cup,” she walks the Madeleine Peyroux/Billie Holiday streets. Katie is a singer to watch, she has the tone, vocal finesse, & most importantly — style. Lots of style.
Ms. Henry comes from my state, NJ & I’m really thrilled since Sinatra & Springsteen are from Jersey, having a female artist of this caliber & beauty is rich.
Katie (Gibson SG & piano) has been acclaimed in the media & On My Way (Drops Jan 28–Ruf Records) — her 10-cut 2nd LP of original tunes (co-written with bassist/slide guitar maestro Antar Goodwin) — struck the motherlode again. “Without a Fight,” is smooth as silk. Driven with exceptional musicianship.
Many artists sing the words & stay in tune which makes it all palatable, but Katie sings the lyrics with “Splendido”. As well as on cut 4 “Bury You.” Her voice is convincing, exhilarating & she’s got a great blues-growl. It’s what Elvis Presley did & why he was the marvelous song interpreter he was. I love this.
Katie segues into “Setting Sun,” with the angelic mastery of the late Eva Cassidy. “With these fading battle scars…” Nice.
Produced by Ben Rice (guitar/vocals) & recorded in Brooklyn, Katie is joined by Kurt Thum (piano/organ), & Greg Wieczorek (drums/percussion).
Katie has a diversified musical pedigree & brilliantly tints each song with her own cachet. Many good singers rely on their pipes, but Katie takes it further. One listen to “Blessings,” & her vocal technique provides a bluesy vein, an easy listening fleece, a rootsy stir that’s captivating. It’s not a difficult song but it’s arranged in a manner to best present the sweeping gown of her sound.
A satisfying feeling pervades & a down & dirty blues rises from a smokey din on “Too Long,” with the humid harmonica of Giles Robson. Katie’s blues is not aggressive or energetic in a Janis Joplin/Genya Ravan manner. It’s steamier, Delta in nature & she may be following in the Chi Coltrane menu as a bluesy chanteuse with sultry virtuosity. The melody-line is similar to the late John Campbell’s classic “Tiny Coffin.” But the blues is the blues.
“Catch Me If You Can,” is the most commercial stab – upbeat, lovely melody & a good finale. This tune could sell the LP. It’s a well-balanced set. Katie keeps a musical genre over 100 years old in focus with her shimmering performance.
Color image courtesy: DropKick Josh Photography. The 38-minute CD is available @ https://katiehenrymusic.com/
Watch our video premiere, here: Video Premiere: Katie Henry Got Me Good