Image © 1999
(05 March 2000) The sweet yet powerful crystalline mid-register
vocals on Vermont native Kate Barclay's latest album Sunshine
From Mars (Solstice Records (USA) 7 85851-3314-2 4, 1999) will
strike most listeners right from the outset. A dynamic vocalist,
Kate confounds all expectation of a girl with a guitar. A well
established twelve string guitar player, her strumming, picking
and percussive playing got her accepted into the Taylor Guitars
artist relations program. The new album is co-produced by Kate
with Charles Eller who also performs on five tracks.
Sunshine From Mars contains twelve relatively short tracks
with various styles, including soft rock, folk, blues and jazz,
the first half primarily is more instrumentally arranged than the
second. Further biographical details and photos are available at
Raunchy lyrics in "Tuna Town" are supported by the rocking
jazzy flavour of the song generated by thick bass and harmonica.
High production quality and piercing vocals continue into "How About
You" which varies between ballad and pulsing rock within the track.
Soaring vocals in the chorus are effectively offset by a notable
piano and guitar counterpoint. "Stop The Violence" is a bluesy
almost spoken track with most notable acoustic guitar accompaniment.
Saxophone adds significantly to the lush arrangements of "Fire In
The Hole" and the vocals vary between almost spoken lyrical bits
to soaring sung parts.
"All I Want" is a most sensitively sung
ballad lightly accompanied by acoustic guitar and cello and, like
"Hold On" and "Be Your Friend" with their tremendous acoustic
guitar parts, illustrates the artist's vocal dexterity.
"What You Lookin At" and "It's" are performed in a similar manner.
Keyboards join guitar adding to the richness of the arrangement
in the alternative rock track (with a country tinge) "Everything."
"Keep On Singin" is one of the album's high spots with its banjo and
percussion perfectly joining Kate's voice. The album closes with
"For A Dollar" a sensitively sung track performed with acoustic
You can order Kate Barclay's album Sunshine From Mars via amazon.com
here. She has an excellent voice, writes songs with poingnant lyrics,
and the richly arranged songs have tremendous texture. We think you'll
agree after listening to the samples online at
that the album is indeed a nice listen!