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Cathy Young - A Spoonful Of Cathy Young (1969)


Cathy Young -Vocal, Guitar
Eric Weissberg - Banjo, Guitar
Don Payne - Bass
Buddy Saltzman - Drums
Ronnie Zito - Drums
Michael Joseph Abene - Piano, Organ
Patrick Rebillot - Piano, Organ

A Spoonful of Cathy Young was a strange late-'60s obscurity, not firmly in the singer/songwriter or folk-rock camps, though it owed something to those styles. Like many a woman singer of the time, she had a high, trilling voice, stopping short of being overdone to annoyance, but not that short. There's a slightly pained and strained quality to her vocals. Her songs, too, are unusually constructed, sometimes shifting as though they're combinations of different compositions. That all might sound promising, and indicative of darker territory than that explored by the usual late-'60s singer/songwriter, but a test of artists with such qualities is their ability to relay their complex volatility in a compelling matter. This album doesn't do so, the songs sounding jumbled in their mixtures of singer/songwriter rock with some blues and occasional carnivalesque ominousness. The pedestrian shot of straight blues that leads off the LP, "Spoonful," isn't really indicative of her sensibilities, which lean much more toward opaque, slightly troubled-sounding, sprawling works. Lyrically it's enigmatic but not cogent, occasionally bringing to mind a less focused Laura Nyro or Melanie at her moodiest, though any similarities aren't overwhelming. (Richie Unterberger)

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