GYPSY AS I GO
It is interesting listening to Cathleen Lesperance's full-length debut; Gypsy As I Go, that she is a self-taught musician – not that that is so rare – but in this case she didn't start playing guitar, or writing until she was into her 20s.
The late start hasn't seemed a huge hindrance for this Saskatchewan gal. This CD was actually recorded in Prince Albert.
So what does Lesperance offer us. Well this is music somewhere in the folk/roots, at times near country vein. She keeps the instrumentation bare bones, relying instead of her voice, which of course is the bread and butter of folk artists. For someone who wasn't performing at the age of five like many artists, Lesperance has an obviously natural songstress voice. It may not have the range of a classically trained performer, but there is a conversational honesty to it that works in this genre.
To Lesperance's credit, she also penned the nine songs here. There might not be the next great folk anthem here, they don't have that kind of lasting message, but again, there is honesty in the words. You can tell Lesperance wants to simply tell stories, and the words flow as a result.
There are several nice songs here, the title cut and Thomas Berry leading the pack. Overall this is a very nice first effort by a Saskatchewan artist, who you have to believe will grow musically with greater experience at her craft. A nice way to start, and certainly worth a listen.
You can check her out at www.myspace.com/clesperance
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper July 23, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada