The Old Centrum
Sunday, Feb. 20
A good Catie Curtis song can pinwheel its way into your psyche. There it remains until you're pondering the mysteries of human relationships and need it to rise to the surface. Curtis is a sly sage with a sweet smile. She brings a love of language and sense of density to her seemingly simple songs. Her voice portrays a conjugation of expression: singing, breathing, speaking; it's intimate and sexy, but ready to josh you at any moment. She can laugh in a song better than anyone, save for Adam Sandler. What would she think of that comparison? She'd laugh some more.
Curtis is touring in support of her new CD, Dreaming in Romance Languages, and though she performed selections from it, I don't recall her hawking it once. She played a handful of brand new, as-yet-unrecorded works, including one based on a book that moved her: "Reading Lolita in Tehran." Another, "Passing Through," was especially touching as a counterweight for those who find themselves losing hope in the current political climate. Her song with an anniversary theme - I can't recall its name - was achingly sweet, exploring the wonder of how we, by seeming happenstance, find the people that we come to love.
Fortunately, I did not have to blurt out a request during the encore for "Troubled Mind" from her Truth From Lies: She performed it as her final song. To my mind it's her best; apparently, she thinks highly of it, too.
Curtis appeared as part of Mark Butterfield's ongoing Acoustic Café series. For more on Catie Curtis: catiecurtis.com.