Album Reviews

Caroline Cotter – Ruth and Harry & Other Stories (Self-released)

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Caroline CotterCaroline Cotter is a child of GOD, a highly-confident and free full-luminous lady of the moon, and woman of the world whose blinding beauty (in the eye of this beholder!) is only eclipsed by her supernova songwriting, celestial singing, and stellar strumming. Witty wordplay, fabulous phrasing, uncommon melodic and comic sense all shine on Cotter’s cottage-industry fifth album.

Ruth and Harry’s inspirational, exemplary tale of true, undying, everlasting love is elegantly encapsulated, related, immortalized on the title track and “A Midnight Escape” bookends. “Sweet stewed plums” never sounded so inviting, exciting, romantic, erotic! Caroline wonderfully waxes poetic about her lunar muse on “Wane,” sonically soaring high above Cole Sigmon’s beautifully bowed bass. Cole also heightens and tightens tensions underlying the harrowing, haunting, deeply disturbing “Paul’s Three Apostles” trilogy of Divine intervention, salvation, and redemption that brutally, honestly, triumphantly explores the dark side of the moon, mankind, and hitchhiking. (But not men hitchhiking on the moon!)  

Other titles/topics/subjects/objects include “Journey In C” (soul-stirring a cappella); “Bella Blue” (flowery, luscious lament); “Alamay” (doomed monkey love); “Snow Filled Buckets” (metaphorical meteorological bedroom barometer?); and Caroline’s fetchingly funny personal want ad/wish list for “A Happy Life” partner. Presented in their bare, essential, unadorned forms these recordings don’t overwhelm but simply, naturally, seductively move you, artfully ebbing and flowing like ocean tides until you’re ultimately swept away. Listen and be smitten!

– Dennis McDonough 

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