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Long Night Moon Press

Long Night Moon, Catie Curtis

The albums of singer-songwriter Catie Curtis always arrive as elegant, but unassuming presents.  Like her friend, Mary Chapin Carpenter, who guests here with gorgeous alto harmony on "Water and Stone," Curtis's songs are beautifully and deceptively well crafted, her production tastefully understated, and her singing so heartbreakingly pure, pained, and devoid of artifice as to suggest she knows not only your secrets, but your soul. The theme that runs through these twelve disarming songs is one of reconnection, both with a lover, and with the world, but in a way that makes things better, that makes a difference.  

"People Look Around," about the aftermath of Katrina, which Curtis co-wrote with Mark Erelli, won the grand prize in the 2006 International Songwriting Competition, beating out 15,000 entries in 82 countries. But there are other songs here that might have done the same. Curtis is at her emotional best when she is full of longing that won't be resolved, when she gives voice to feelings that refuse to stay hidden, and when she acts on desires that won't be dismissed. "Find You Now" with its imagery of seeing a potential lover's headlights crawl across her bedroom wall, is a perfect example. But it's the chorus--"Did you drop your flowers/Underneath the bridge/They're floating on a river/Blowing like a kiss"-that destroys you.  Despite her 15 years of playing and criss-crossing the country, Curtis has yet to achieve the notoriety and status she deserves.  But perhaps deliverance is only on the other side of this Long Night Moon.