By Chris Propfe, musesmuse.com 08/11/2014 - 11:38AM EDT
ARTIST: Mitch Katz
ALBUM: Out of the Blue
LABEL: Treestar Records
GENRE: Acoustic folk/pop
SOUNDS LIKE: Jim Croce, James Taylor
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Best Songs: "Rosalita," "Watch Me"
CD Review: Honest. Honest vocals. Honest songs. Mitch Katz is a singer/songwriter with an amazing ability to connect with his audience in an honest way. Too much music today is embellished with arrangements and instrumentation that hide the song. The first thing that struck me with Mitch’s CD, Out of the Blue, was the simplicity of the songs. The recording opens up with "Rosalita." This is a song about longing. The longing for a girl. Definitely not new territory in the realm of songwriting, but Mitch presents the topic in a way that we can all relate to. Not only that, but you will continue to hum the "la, la, la" chorus throughout the day.
The next thing that struck me were the simple yet stunning arrangements. It's getting very difficult to find songs that stand on their own without a lot of bells and whistles. In "Runaway," the electric guitar and vocal harmonies complement the structure of the song perfectly. "Island Time" is the long lost Jimmy Buffett song. Mitch gets to show off his ukulele skills in this tune as well. I was also struck by the way that Mitch tells a story. You really feel like you are there . In "One More Try" and "Watch Me," two ballads from the album, Mr. Katz sings the songs to the listener like a personal living room concert. It's difficult not to get caught up in the story line and feel that you are watching the characters play out the song right in front of you. Mitch's guitar playing is top notch throughout the CD. The strong chord progressions are the perfect rhythmic backdrop. With the solid song writing, the songs need very little more. As a guitar player myself, I really appreciated hearing some beautiful finger picking on this album. Any fan of acoustic music will be thrilled by what they hear. Fans of James Taylor and Jim Croce, look no further. You have found your new home.
By David Malachowski, Daily FreemanARTIST: Mitch Katz
In this world of over-self-promotion, Mitch Katz is rather low key — no web pages, really, just a listing on CD Baby and iTunes.
Maybe that's because the Yonkers-born, Roxbury, Connecticut, resident is more focused on his music.
With "Out Of The Blue," he uses a stellar cast of local musicians including Dan Hickey (drums), Fooch Fishchetti (violin) and Amy Soucy (background vocals) to play his well-crafted compositions.
Longing for the girl of his dreams, Katz offers the catchy la-la-infused "Rosalita" as he tries to entice her, if only in his mind. He describes a near miss, that then wasn't, in a comfortable, casual voice in "This Kind Of Love." He must have found her, because in the sunny shuffle "My Valentine" he admits, "you sealed the deal in the very first kiss."
But sometimes love has its ups and downs, as he tells in "Wake Me If I'm Dreaming," but when it's right, he's quite grateful, as he reveals in the pretty "How Lucky Am I." Surely the best song of the lot, Katz wistfully looks back at it all with the bluesy title track "Out Of The Blue" in an old-school MacDougal St. way.
An old school folky with an earnest, yet not too serious delivery, Katz scores with this fine collection of tunes.
David Malachowski is a guitarist, producer and freelance journalist.