Review: Kind of Brave by Kat Quinn

One of the best things that has happened since attending my first NERFA last November has been becoming part of a loop of music sharing within the larger-than-I-had-previously-comprehended folk music community. This includes the random surprise of occasionally opening my mailbox to find CDs hoping to be heard. That’s how I came to discover an EP from Massachusetts-based Kat Quinn.

Kat QuinnKind of Brave is an completely charming recording. Self described as indie-pop, the title track is easily one I could imagine hearing over any pop radio station or in the background of some popular TV show, and actually feels like something I have heard there. Produced by Adam Rhodes, this small collection of songs marks the second release from Quinn. At four tracks, my chief complaint is that I wanted more. The songs are engaging, thoughtful, fun, and a little bit quirky in the best way. Continue reading

Review: The List of Whales by Carrie Ferguson

Popping in a brand new CD for the first time, even from a well regarded rising artist like Carrie Ferguson, always comes with a little bit of nervousness. Will I like this? I had heard her in the Emerging Artist Showcase at the 2013 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival but was not really familiar with her music. This was going to be essentially a new exposure.

Carrie Ferguson

photo by Glenn Koetzner

Well, I needn’t have worried. Right from the first measures, Ferguson’s second album, The List of Whales, just reaches right in and commands the listener to move and be moved. The upbeat fiddle-infused opening track, “Sunlight,” masks its story of a bittersweet journey of self discovery and seeking under a foot-tapping beat: “I’ve chosen things I thought were great that tore my soul apart/Sometimes it takes a few mistakes to know your own heart”. Continue reading