Kat Eggleston,
Outside of Eden
(Waterbug, 1997)

Every now and then, while doing CD reviews, you come across an album that's just pure joy to hear. This month mine is Kat Eggleston's Outside of Eden. Originally billed as a folk/Celtic album, this album is more like a musical story time, ripe with great melodies and good lyrics.

Eggleston, who not only sings, goes to work with guitar and hammered dulcimer while being backed by Gary Krolak on fretless bass, John Rice on guitar and mandolin, Andrew Bird on violin, and Dave Rush on drums, percussion and even a garbage can lid.

Heartfelt lyrics seem to reach out and touch you as you listen -- like in "Brian," about letting go and saying good-bye to a departed loved one in a sweet dream. In "Pastures of Plenty/Kitchen Girl," she tells the tale of the migrant worker, and in "Meeting Stucky at the Gas Station," two men re-unite after one was thought lost in the Great World War.

In the title track, "Outside of Eden," Eggleston tells a tale of passion in a gritting, bluesy way, with words that speak right to the matter. And in "Mirror, Mirror" we hear of obsessions of a lover for another after the break-up.

In "Powerless," we hear of troubles greater than us and the strength needed for dealing with them. In "Flower of Northumberland," a young girl returns home heartbroken by a charming Scotsman. And in the ninth track we get a real chuckle with "Shit," a song about the black hole of shoulder bags and how she has "too much shit in my purse."

In all, twelve tracks of melodies and stories, spinning their tales and touching your soul. And as I said, just a real joy to hear.

[ by Charlie Gebetsberger ]

Buy Outside of Eden from Amazon.com.