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Sunshine From Mars CD Cover
Image © 1999 Solstice Records 

(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 Kate's website.

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 guitar alone.

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 her mp3.com website. that the album is indeed a nice listen!

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