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Catherine Russell: Cat

Judging by her debut disc, Catherine “Cat” Russell has already used up all nine of her musical lives. I can’t recall another vocal album that tries to do so much all at once. It’s got torch songs, soul burners, honky-tonk, down-home country and the blues. It’s got, in addition to the standard piano, bass and drums, accordion, banjo, mandolin, violin, tambourine and organ. It’s got 15 tracks jammed into 43 minutes. If the liner notes didn’t list all the musicians, I’d swear the ghost of the otherworldly Esquivel was in there, too.

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