this is a remarkable CD.....a kaleidoscope of shape, color, and emotion.
kathleen sabo uses her incredibly warm, pure voice to convey deeply stirring, articulate lyrics in this cd, her first independently released collection. it is clear that she loves and cares deeply about people. hear the playful and completely charming ”map of the world,” a tribute to the power of the imagination and of choice, the passionate “fuel for the fire,” and the funny, ironic, and thoroughly delightful “cravings.”
sabo has the ability to see the human condition with a wise and compassionate heart (“the only one.”) she groks the relationship between the inner and outer worlds ( “flow”) as well as between the upper and lower worlds (the amazing “as above, so below”)
she speaks to the best in all of us, inspiring and entertaining at the same time.
a truly wonderful listen!
host/producer of "living juicy"
ksfr public radio 101.1 fm
santa fe, new mexico
In her first full-length CD, "Map of the World," Kathleen Sabo successfully channels her quick mind and open heart into a suite of songs that can touch and inspire listeners.
Sabo and her music/production partner Larry Mitchell create engaging and inventive beds for Sabo's thoughtful lyrics throughout. The opening track, "Hey Jimmy!" shines sonically to begin with before you realize that you're in an extremely clever lyrical mash-up of some of the great lines from great songs of the last 40 years. While the lines hang together well to create their own fresh story, it's fun to watch your mind work through the references to songs from the Beatles to the Police to the Talking Heads. As to who's Jimmy and who's the Joni that's calling in the lyric, the Joni might be easier to guess at since part of Sabo's rangy voice and literate lyricism certainly finds roots in Joni Mitchell's early songs.
Like Mitchell's best work, Sabo knows how to play both sides of the emotional spectrum in single songs. In "Flow," she acknowledges that power in us that we both fear and need. In "Fuel For The Fire," there may be "muck and mire...want and desire" but there's also "food for thought, tools for love and fuel for the fire." In other songs like "The Only One," wherein Sabo wonders if she's the only one seeing the damage all around, she sees a glimmer of hope for peace IF we start paying attention soon enough.
Some tracks come off a bit like sermons, from a preacher you come to hear because you want to. The appropriately titled "As Above, So Below," offers a list of good natured urgings for us to go green, work at play, stash our baggage and tap into our own personal power to make change in our lives first, then the world. The track opens with Robert Mueller's simple, haunting piano figure before shifting into a driving industrial bed that carries Sabo's playbook for what she sees as a more present life path.
The world itself gets turned on its end in the CD's title cut. Essentially asking which end, if any, is up in our perception of globe, Sabo morphs the idea into a challenge to remake our world, not the way someone else expects us to, but as we see fit.
In a couple of songs, Sabo has fun with food imagery. She ties the sweetness of vanilla icing to a delicious relationship in "Cravings," and explores slightly wacky wordplay to urge listeners to "Buy Local" ("Spend your nickels on homemade pickles").
Larry Mitchell's production keeps things bright and I love the occasional use of the backwards bending note that, ever since The Beatles popularized it, always gets my attention. (First notes of "Hey Jimmy!" and "As Above, So Below" - they had me right there!). The arrangements and lyrics reward repeated listenings. The more time you spend with Kathleen Sabo, the more you'll take away from her compelling offering.
With this release, Sabo walks the walk of tapping into her own creative power, giving in to the flow, and tossing out a message in a bottle from her corner of this map of the world. When it washes up on your shore, check it out.
Producer and Host
THE EMERGENCE OF JONI MITCHELL
THE EMERGENCE OF PAUL SIMON
THE EMERGENCE OF BOB DYLAN
Kathleen began writing music at the age of 4, when she composed a blues tune titled, "Kindergarten Dropout." (Eager to disprove the prophecy of that song, Kathleen not only stayed in Kindergarten, but also graduated from elementary school, high school, college and law school!)
Later... at the age of 10, Kathleen pledged to herself to wait until she had "experienced everything that could be experienced in life" to seek full success in music. Now, finally, with a bit more perspective than she had at 10, and with the realization - and hope! - that she will keep experiencing life until the end, Kathleen has teamed with Grammy-winning producer and guitarist Larry Mitchell to present her new CD, "Map of the World," for your listening pleasure.
Kathleen has performed as a solo singer/songwriter in CT, NY, TX, VA and NM; been a member of a NY/CT jazz quintet; a member of a blues band; a member of a new wave band; a member of various duos and trios; sung with a big band; scored a college theater piece; composed for radio, television and film; and worked with children on musical compositions. She has worked as an attorney, a university and law school instructor, a public radio host and producer and a small business owner. She is the mother of two incredible and wondrous beings. She brings all of these influences - having experienced almost everything that could be experienced in life! - to her music.
Listen to the beauty on the surface or dive in to the depths of the lyrics and the passion of the music and Kathleen's delivery. Your reward just may be a deeper empathy for, and appreciation and understanding of yourself, others and the world.