When You’re Not Around EP
(Reason & Rhyme Records)
One of the best things about Ms Eaton is that she seems so pleased to be singing, performing, entertaining. To describe her musical style, it’s almost best to tell you what she isn’t. Kat is not a twister of notes all over the shop a la Mariah Carey. She doesn’t have that annoying post-Winehouse quasi-soul hiccup in her phrasing. She doesn’t shout or yell. What she does, though is almost cruise her way through gently soulful numbers, summoning up fifth gear when suitable. Her diction is crystal clear, something of a help with her kind of lyrics. Her live performance band hits an almost Memphis style groove as evidenced at the launch of this 5-track disc.
We did speak to Kat just ahead of the London premiering and will bring you that chat later but for now let’s run through these studio recordings ….
When You’re Not Around is the lead cut and the controlled power of Kat’s voice hits the listener straight away. The song could be from the Ketty Lester-era but with the piano straight off a Willie Nelson classic. The key is well-chosen and it’s all radio-friendly. A lovely, measured guitar solo slips to the front of the mix. Phrasing here is reminiscent of Dusty Springfield but mellower in vocal tone.
Robbing You Blind is taken at a crisp tempo and evokes Norah Jones on..er, something! The backing vocals are superb and the choppy Miami-funk style is maintained, Hammond cooing in the background. The drumming is early Motown.
The Joker isn’t the Steve Miller tune. Defined horns ride on what one might term relaxed force. The kind Joe Tex had…the Peggy Lee-style descent works really well for the song. Have they sorted the songs for the new forthcoming Oceans 11 film yet?
A pretty catchy song Put Yourself In My Arms is acoustic and is the closing cut. This song has a New Orleans vibe about it, acoustic piano centre stage. One for Maria Muldaur fans, methinks. I Can’t Go Back is very slow. With lovely piano and tremelo’d electric guitar and a sweet melody. Get this one to Beth Hart!
No gimmicks or pouting here, readers. Just talent.
(Thanks Tom and Kat)
Kat Eaton’s new EP ‘When You’re Not Around’ is out now on Reason & Rhyme Records.
For artist info and live dates, slink over to: www.kateaton.com