By Any Frank, rootsmusic.ca
You may remember Toronto’s Kat Goldmanfrom about a decade ago when her debut CD,The Great Disappearing Act, created a sensation at home and in the States.
She had New York City management, and was opening for the likes of Dar Williams, The Waifs, Regina Spektor, the Strawbs, and Jonatha Brooke. But then her career was derailed by an accident in 2004 when she was severely injured in a freak accident (a car crashed into the storefront of a bagel shop she was visiting).
She spent the next two years in recovery. But she is back — and in a glorious way — with her new record, Gypsy Girl.
It covers a period beginning in 2009 which finds the now forty-ish Kat majoring in English Literature at Harvard and Boston College. The record takes us from present day Massachusetts to reflections on 1980s Paris, to dreams of Tennessee and the halcyon days of New York City. What hasn’t changed — and in fact is better than ever — is Kat’s gorgeous, natural voice and her brilliant melodies.
She likes to be called a “songmaker”. I like that too, it rolls off the page and tongue better than singer-songwriter and it works. It’s a generous umbrella term that covers all the other skills involved in making a record like musicianship, vision, arrangements and production.
This precise use of language is also an example of the kind of care Kat lends to lyrics of her third CD. The pencil is well-sharpened, an especially difficult editing challenge when it comes to producing a record that is also an autobiographical journal, it lovingly leaves listeners with plenty of blanks to fill.
Maybe I’m not the marrying kind/ But more like a joke or a Stomping Tom/ Along the roads of time/ And I’m so far away from home/ (from the title track, “Gypsy Girl”)
The supporting crew is wonderful, led by the usual superb drums of Gary Craig, the record’s talented Toronto-based producer and versatile musician Maury Lafoy, and his clone in Massachusetts Adam M Rothberg.