Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Review -- KATE MAKI -- On High

ON HIGH
Kate Maki
Confusion Unlimited
7.5-out-of-10
Kate Maki comes out of Northern Ontario, and calls herself a western swing performer, well with a few twists – don't all performers throw a change-up these days?
In this case Maki has a relaxed, slow-paced, and laid back, approach to music. It comes across that she has a story to tell, often stories with a darker tone, or mood, and is willing to spend whatever time it takes to share the tale with the listener. There is no rushing things here.
The instrumentation here is rather diverse, although still simple and bare bones. This is a CD that is really all about Maki's lilting voice, but when it's supported by steel on one song, and the unique flavour of a jug on another, it adds to the richness of the result.
That said, this CD lives and dies by Maki's voice, a voice which is ideally suited to music which has such a folk-roots heartbeat.
On occasion Maki is joined by others here. Nathan Lawr chimes in on Badminton Racket, and Dale Murray joins in on Blue Morning. The duets here are a nice addition to the CD, providing diversity, and also giving Maki's voice a male counterpoint.
Maki has scored with previous CDs -- her debut Confusion Unlimited and follow-up The Sun Will Find Us were both recognized as Album of the Year by the Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards – and this latest effort certainly maintains the level of excellence.
Check her out at www.katemaki.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper July 2, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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