By CHAD ABSHIRE
WILLIAMSON - The Daily News was recently given the approximately 13-minute demo CD from local professional recording artist Katie Curry, of Delbarton.
And even though it’s the year 2012, it feels like the listener has been transported back to the 1940s once the first song begins.
Here’s the scene that immediately enters one’s mind once “Good Morning, Heartache,” starts up:
Sitting at a dimly lit bar in a big city, consider Los Angeles. It’s smoky and a number of men are hovering over their drinks. There’s some idle chatter, but most people seem preoccupied with their problems, telling the uninterested bartender about their day.
Then this stringed instrument starts up with a smooth, jazzy bass behind it. The men turn around and up the raised platform walks Katie Curry, in a stunning cyan dress, curls bouncing with each step she takes up to the microphone.
“Good morning, Heartache,” she sings, “you old, gloomy thing.”
And then the wolf howls come.
At least, that’s the scene some listeners might envision upon the first try.
The bass behind the song has the uncanny ability to force the listener to tap their foot, whether they want to or not. The strings in the foreground keep the head bobbing to each strum and then the voice hits your ears.
One would swear it’s an updated, made-for-the-era version of Billie Holiday. And there’s no embellishing that. Taking a listen to the original song she sang all those years ago, Curry’s version of the song has more, for lack of a better term, “oomph” to it. It’s more in one’s face.
It simply has more power behind it.
The other tracks on the CD, “At Last;” “Wake Up Older;” and “Do Right Woman,” are all pleasures to listen to as well, but they don’t transport the listener to another place as effortlessly as “Good Morning, Heartache,” does.
This is not a negative thing, however.
Like the introductory song, there is a significant increase in power behind each word that penetrates the listener’s ear. For example, the opening to “At Last,” sounds remarkably like the late Etta James’ voice. Almost frighteningly similar, yet it still retains the “oomph” that Curry’s voice brings.
Getting away from the early jazz and blues era and progressing to a contemporary song like “Wake Up Older,” the transition is jarring, but it works.
Curry has the song down to a near-perfect rendition, even with the inclusion of some twang that was absent in the previous two songs. The listener isn’t quite sure how they’ve made this transition, but it’s enjoyable to listen to. It works.
She finishes it up with “Do Right Woman,” and it might be the best song of them all. While it doesn’t function as a time machine or sound like one of the divas of old, that’s the best part.
It keeps the listener in their own mind, focusing solely on Katie Curry’s version of it. It doesn’t sound like Aretha Franklin or Etta James, but it still sounds fantastic. And finishing off on that note is a smart idea.
These four songs are covers, but the final song is the one that sounds more like an original. If the listener enjoyed what they heard for those 13 minutes, they’re going to want to hear an original.
And if it’s going to sound anything like the final song on the demo CD, then the wait is going to be agonizing.
John Carlin, president of the Lyrick Talent Group Inc., who signed Curry back in February, told the Daily News that some of her songs are receiving radio play in, fittingly enough, Los Angeles.
It is hoped that she’ll start dominating the local airwaves, as well.