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CD Review: Kat Mills

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Former Hudson Valley resident Kat Mills recently relocated to Blacksburg, Virginia, but she returned to this area—and its wealth of musical talent and studios—to record her second effort, Two.

Mills used Scott Petito’s NRS studio in Catskill, as well as a staggering cast of players including drum giant Jerry Marotta, ace multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell, Petito on bass, and the impressive Marc Shulman on guitar.

Starting off the proceedings with “Too Far Gone,” Mills’s luxurious low voice digs deep in the verse, and just soars on the chorus, as Marotta provides the perfect groove and Shuman colors it with spatial, echoey lines. “One Time Around” holds haunting vocals, sometimes sung in a round, as Schulman’s eerie guitar serpentines around her. “Why Would You Say That?” takes a while to find its feet (though the stinging guitar solo just kills), but “Silver Dagger” is timeless and true.

Mills goes it alone in the effective “Grey” and Petito’s bass just percolates in “Motel Blues” as the singer’s melody careens around like a pinball off a fast flipper. “500 Miles” is a traditional-in-waiting and “Walking Away” is simple and spare, as is “Rip Tide,” with its luscious lyrics and violin.

The ideal combination of songs, players, production, and a compelling artist, Two is an extraordinary outing. Mills got it right on this one. www.katmills.com.

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