heather caston releases her long-awaited debut "again"
heather caston has released her debut cd, "again", and it is a beautiful collection of her poignant, sexy, classy ballads and grooves. The real star of this record is Heather's voice; a many-layered, multi-textured, and sophisticated instrument that she plays with natural grace and practiced craft.
The contributions made by Andy Rice (bass), Ryan Cyr (drums), Clive Osborn (electric guitar), and Haak Kalweit (lead guitar), compliment heather's vocal and guitar arrangements in a way that enhances them while still sounding very much a natural part of the melodic and harmonic landscape.
The sultry ballad "beg" has a crying electric guitar echoing a lonely, frustrated woman's plea to her lover for attention and affection, while the steady drum and acoustic groove keeps the mood blue and smokey and plaintive.
"secure" finds the woman in a recently ended relationship beginning to feel the first tingle of healing, but the loss and pain are not far off. She still has an ache and a hole in her heart that hasn't yet let her have peace. Continued contact with her ex-lover brings the heartache back despite her progress toward wholeness...
"but I need you like never before / when you speak to me you open the door"
heather's solid guitar work helps bring this song home by providing a moving, almost material foundation for the layered, shifting emotions that come through in the lyrics and melody. The confusion and bewilderment that is part and parcel in this particular emotional space, which we have all experienced, comes through very well.
This cd was recorded and engineered by heather's close friend Fraser Jones, who has given her a wonderful gift in this, her debut album. The voices of the instruments are clear, the mix is at once democratic, but still true to heather's performance, and his use of effects greatly enhances the focus on heather's voice (where it should be) without getting in the way.
In her line notes, heather explicitly acknowledges and thanks the relationships that inspired these songs, so all of this art came from her own life and experiences with other human beings. It is the songwriter's job to immerse themselves in the world, and then sing about it in a way that others will understand in a very foundational manner; not precisely the same feelings, but evoking the common, human reactions that we all share to different stimuli. With her wonderful voice, solid accompaniment, and gifted songwriting, heather fills that job very well.
I would heartily recommend that you own this CD; it is available at Acoustic Coffee and Bull Moose Music, or from heather at one of her live appearances.