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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Cathy Young - A Spoonful Of Cathy Young (1969 canada, elegant bluesy folk psych rock, 2015 reissue)

Already a familiar face on Yorkville, Toronto's thriving folk scene, Cathy Young came to wider prominence when she performed in front of 5000 people at the Queen's Park Love-in in May 1967, still aged only 16, on a bill that also included Leonard Cohen and Buffy Sainte-Marie. As she later commented: "It was my graduation from the streets of Yorkville... The only song I was able to play was Buffy Sainte-Marie's Codeine." Though she was scheduled right after Sainte-Marie on the bill, she went ahead with the song anyway, and cemented her reputation. 

Before long she'd been offered a recording contract by Mainstream's entrepreneurial Bob Shad, who specialized in signing up young artists and swiftly taping whatever they had to offer (the most prominent example having been Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company). With musical backing from Dylan sideman Eric Weissberg (soon to become renowned for Duelling Banjos) and other session notables including Buddy Saltzman and Michael Abene, the album appeared in April 1969, prompting Billboard to write 'Cathy Young is the best female singer-songwriter to come along in a long time. The subtlety of her lyrics is a strong point, but her singing and Eric- Weissberg's musical arrangements also help to make this 'spoonful' an impressive debut album. Some of her best songs are Everyone's A Dealer, Circus, and Melody Plot. 

With much deserved airplay of these and other cuts, such as her unique rendition of the blues standard Spoonful, this album could become an underground smash. This one 'spoonful' should be all that's required to transform Cathy Young into a chart regular.' Unfortunately these predictions did not come to pass, but Young did go on to receive a prestigious Juno Award as Most Promising Female Vocalist in March 1974, following the release of her second album, Travel Stained, the previous year. 

Thereafter she has toured the world, as well as performing in stage musicals (including a stint as Mary Magdalene in the Canadian touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar), and becoming a popular performer on cruise ships and in luxury hotels.
CD Liner Notes

1. Spoonful (Willie Dixon) - 6:46
2. Misfit Matilda - 2:02
3. This Life - 3:07
4. Everyone's A Dealer - 4:17
5. Circus - 2:59
6. Mr. Moth - 1:51
7. Colour That Lightning - 4:00
8. 3 Billion Lovers - 2:01
9. Understanding Changes Misunderstood - 3:38
10.Following In Front - 2:49
11.Melody Plot - 3:37
All compositions by Cathy Young except track #1

*Cathy Young - Vocal, Guitar
*Eric Weissberg - Banjo, Guitar
*Don Payne - Bass
*Buddy Saltzman - Drums
*Ronnie Zito - Drums
*Michael Joseph Abene - Piano, Organ
*Patrick Rebillot - Piano, Organ

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