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Hello Stranger Press

Hello Stranger CD Review

"Hello, Stranger"
(Compass Records)
— Boston native Catie Curtis has
fast become one of my
favorite performers on
the contemporary folk
scene. The excellent
"Hello, Stranger" is
her 10th album in 20
years and on the heels of 2006's superb "Long
Night Moon" and 2008's even better "Sweet
Life" gives every indication that like a fine wine,
Curtis is getting better with age.
An adept songwriter, Curtis has packed
"Hello, Stranger" with more cover songs than
usual. Thanks to her distinctive voice, however,
she's able to make tunes such as the
Carter Family-penned title track, Cat Stevens'
"Tuesday's Dead" and Richard Thompson's
"Walking on a Wire" her own. Among the
original compositions, set opener "100 Miles,"
"Passing Through," "Deliver Me" and "Saint
Lucy" shine brightest. Another keeper is her
twangy take on "I Wish I Knew How It Would
Feel to Be Free," a song originally recorded by
the late, great Nina Simone 42 years ago. (JS)