Katrin has an awakening in ¡°Far Away¡¯, one of those moments when clarity breaks through, all the denials have taken time off and grim reality is way too real. As her mind wanders from the past to the present she hopes the sex was good enough to bring and keep her locked into a someone else¡¯s life. Three years after her last album effort, ¡®Soul Wide Open¡¯, Katrin returns with the Jerry Marotta produced ¡®Frail to Fearless¡¯ with Jerry on drums leading a dream team of players; Tony Levin, Bill Dillon and John Sebastian, along with Katrin¡¯s core band. Katrin is a singer/songwriter, heading from the Boston suburbs of her youth into Harvard Square to busk and hone her craft. There is a polish to the songs ¡®Frail to Fearless¡¯ which suits Katrin¡¯s commanding resonance though it takes the songs away from the street corners and into a more Adult Contemporary setting.
- TheAlternateRoot.com, May 55, 2012
Boston, Massachusetts-based singer/songwriter Katrin Roush really hits it out of the splendidly soulful and tuneful ballpark on her terrific fourth album. Blessed with a strong, sultry voice, a firm grasp of harmony, and a spot-on knack for smart and thoughtful songwriting, Katrin maintains a winningly positive and resilient outlook on things while weathering the storm of life¡¯s numerous ups and downs that include her humble beginnings as a busker (the superbly vivid ¡°Cobblestones¡±), the mercurial nature of romantic relationships (the touching ¡°Far Away¡± and the lovely ¡°Breeze¡±), and mankind¡¯s unfortunate tendency for constant conflict (the potent anti-war tune ¡°Blame¡±). Upbeat without being corny or maudlin about it and worldly, yet not bitter or cynical, Katrin¡¯s optimistic persona and keen perspective give this album a distinctive edge that¡¯s appealing and engrossing in equal measure. Moreover, the crisp arrangements provide a very soothing and captivating sound that¡¯s impossible to resist or dislike. A marvelous album.
- Joe Wawrzyniak, JerseyBeat.com, March 5, 2012
Katrin at the next level
It¡¯s been said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become fluent in a foreign language. Singer/songwriter Katrin Roush feels like the concept also applies to music.
¡°It¡¯s a spiritual thing. You really have to reflect on where you came from, where you¡¯re going. You have to develop that ability to open up and not hold back,¡± says Katrin (as she is more commonly known).
Katrin seemingly hit the 10,000-hour mark with ¡°Frail to Fearless,¡± her stunning new CD recorded in New York with producer and drummer Jerry Marotta, who has worked with Peter Gabriel, Sheryl Crow and others.
Marotta¡¯s involvement introduced Katrin to a whole new caliber of collaborator, as King Crimson/ Peter Gabriel bassist Tony Levin, Lovin¡¯ Spoonful guitarist and harmonica player John Sebastian, Styx singer Lawrence Gowan and other notable session players participated in the recordings.
¡°This really brought me to a new level. There¡¯s something to be said about building confidence when you work with really great people,¡± says Katrin.
She does admit, though, to feeling a little intimidated during a drive from her Boston home to Marotta¡¯s studio in Woodstock, NY, knowing that Levin and Sebastian would be waiting there for her.
¡°But the minute we started playing, I loosened up, and it felt like we were playing in my living room. It just felt so easy. When I¡¯m in the moment, I don¡¯t worry,¡± she says.
And you can catch one of those moments when Katrin and Marotta perform Saturday in the Coppertop. The show begins at 7 p.m. and will preview material from ¡°Frail to Fearless" which is available online at www.katrinrocks.com and has an ¡°official¡± release next month.
While the production and team involved brought Katrin into a new league, her songs and her performance provide the solid foundation for the album. Since her earliest days playing around Central Mass (and hence a loyalty to doing a show at the Coppertop even as her star is on the rise), Katrin has stood out with songs and a style that rocked a little harder than conventional singer/songwriter fare, but did not really comfortably belong in rock clubs either.
But rather than compromise, Katrin just kept honing her style over a series of albums and countless live performances (her days as a street busker are nicely captured on the new tune ¡°Cobblestones¡±).
Vocally, Katrin can swing from a smoky blues to lighter, jazzy tones, and she covers that range on the new record. Her subjects are likewise a blend of inner musings about the ups and downs of love and broader observations about people and places around her.
¡°Jerry¡¯s rhythms, his groove, provided the glue and his production expertise made sure the whole album hung together,¡± she says.
Katrin revisited three of her older songs_ ¡°Dreams,¡± ¡°Ivy¡± and ¡°Blame¡±_ for updates that better accentuate the depth and angles of the material. In other cases, such as ¡°Breeze,¡± the singer had a rough idea built basically in the studio.
Katrin ends the CD with an insightful arrangement of Led Zeppelin¡¯s ¡°That¡¯s the Way,¡± making it sound more gritty than wistful.
Her goal throughout was to create recorded performances she could reproduce live.
¡°You¡¯re always in different settings as an independent artist, sometimes playing solo, sometimes working with a nice core of people like I have,¡± she says. ¡°So while there may be some variations live, the foundations will be there. The melodies, and groove will be there. The variations, though, are pleasing.¡±
As is the very work itself.
- Scott McLennan, music correspondent for The Boston Globe, March 1, 2012
Katrin moves upward and onward with new Frail To Fearless CD
Katrin is a strong musical personality that can forge the elements of ballads, rock and roll, singer-songwriter, and even progressive into her music . Her new CD Frail To Fearless is loaded with songs that will move you, delight you, and rock you. Each lovely sonic detail gets a boost from many of the Boston area¡¯s finest musicians, and, each detail is brought to life with pristine clarity by producer Jerry Marotta.
¡°Home¡± opens the disc with its amicable guitar strumming and Katrin¡¯s plaintive vocal call for her companion to open up to her. She sings this one likes she¡¯s gliding fearlessly straight into emotional bad new. Her voice smoothly lists her number of anxieties with a brave push of feisty vocals. Her coos and the jittery percussion add a nice secondary level of engagement.
Katrin coos her way into ¡°Enough¡± like a bird of prey swooping down at a fearless pace. She goes toe to toe with edgy guitars and an aggressive rhythm section and emerges as the dominant voice. She¡¯s folkie, rock and roll, and dramatic, her personality being the hefty wedge that welds them all into one. She has no trouble pushing songs in any direction she wants to go in. You know she means business with each note she sustains and infuses with a distinct Katrinness.
¡°Far Away¡± is one of those mid tempo rockers, slowed down to let each player and Katrin emphasize the strength of the song. It¡¯s the moments when Katrin emotes largely over bristling ensemble work that make her a larger than life musical presence.
¡°Breeze¡± feels like its title implies. Katrin finesses this one with her vocal strength infused into a gentle line. You can hear and feel all her voice has to offer. Silky smooth and rangy as hell, she draws out the cautious emotions she sings of.
¡°More¡± gets an edge from an electric guitar that scrapes sparks around the perimeter of the tune. Katrin puts her words across with a jumpy vocal that bursts through the sounds cape. She has a muscular spring in her voice that makes you feel her song is going somewhere, like an unstoppable force of natural. It¡¯s just cool to listen to her belt.
Katrin, getting more mellow, coos her way into ¡°Ivy¡± and then elevates the sound to a special place. The song is likely her next hit song on local radio and on national adult contemporary radio. It is irresistibly catchy when Katrin sings her ¡°Do-do-do. Do-do-do¡± at the beginning and going into the chorus. Her voice is fulsome, breathing tremendous life into verse and chorus alike.
¡°Cobblestones¡± shows more of Katrin¡¯s self-restraint, keeping the emotion simmering just below the surface of the song. Her chorus, aside from capturing the ear, packs an emotional punch and showcases how this singer is the architect and carpenter of a soaring landscape. She builds a mountainous arc in the tune and then she sings her way up and over it with confidence, skill, and true beauty. It¡¯s impossible not to pause and consider the richness in her timbre, the power in her range.
¡°Dreams¡± has a soulful depth in its funked up guitar, organ, and rhythm section. Katrin, with her silky smooth vocal, moves around these notes like a dancer moving around stage. She just comes grooving along, slipping and sliding her voice in and out the space left open for her band and their smoky, jazzy inflections. You can hear Tony Levin (yes, that Tony Levin) apply the most tasteful bass notes in the city when he recorded his tracks for Katrin¡¯s disc. He just pilots his glider-like bass notes around with the greatest of ease.
Katrin does her magic in a slower groove on ¡°Blame,¡± a meditative piece focusing on the whys of war. She is quite effective when she builds this slower tempo up to an emotional release with greater dynamic belts.
The singer wisely selected Led Zeppelin¡¯s ¡°That¡¯s The Way¡± to close out her disc. Now recognized as an essential album of British folk and singer-songwriter glory, Led Zeppelin¡¯s third album has come into its own. Katrin makes ¡°That¡¯s The Way¡± her own with a slightly gentler feel than the original yet manages to capture the flow of forlorn emotion and realistic reflections on human interactions.
Along for the ride with Katrin are a who¡¯s who of Boston¡¯s most tasteful players, Scott Tarulli, John Harrington, and Alison Keslow, as well as others from New York and Canada, Daniel A. Weiss, Ross Rice, Bill Dillon, Mark Shulman, John Sebastian, Lawrence Gown, and Anjani Thomas.
Katrin has moved to an even higher level of artistic detail and inspiration than she did on her superb 2009 album Soul Wide Open. She will likely be one of New England¡¯s most recognized singer-songwriters in the years to come.
- Bill Copeland, February 24, 2012
This young lady by the name of Katrin is a Boston-based singer/songwriter. Frail to Fearless was three years in the making and is her fourth self-released album.
When working on this review, my son looked at me with a question mark in his face while seeing the pictures on the album. He asked me: "since when are you listening this type of music?" I've read on more than one occasion that there was something about a woman and a guitar and Katrin is a beautiful example of this saying. On this brand new release, Katrin has composed nine new tracks and has given us the pleasure to hear a cover of Led Zeppelin's "That's the Way". Her style is somewhat reminiscent to Suzanne Vega, but with a slightly rougher edge. Her voice bears a bit of this urban feel; nonetheless the vocals are very pleasant, down to earth and coming from a well-grounded artist. She delivers, through her songs, intimate images and reflections taken from her own personal life. She has chosen the acoustic guitar to musically express her emotions. Those exquisite tonalities are gracing every single composition, to my selfish pleasure, of course. This is not really a folk type of album though. She even considers herself as "not just a singer-songwriter, being too edgy for that". She found her inspiration from soul, blues, rock and rhythm blues. Although there are only good songs to be heard on this disc, I have a weak spots for a certain number of them. Opening track, "Home" really sets the mood for the album. The casual and laid back vocals coupled with the cool acoustic playing make "Ivy" a very pleasant tune for my ears. The bluesy number 8, "Dreams", not only adds harmonica, but includes a great acoustic solo and a touch of organ as well.
Frail to Fearless is to be released late April and will bring thoughtful melodies to your spring days/nights.
- Denis Brunelle, April 3, 2012, 4 out of 4 stars