A 'Blue Morning' That's Welcoming and Warm

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Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "Blue Morning"
  • Artist: Kate Maki
  • CD: On High
  • Genre: Folk-Pop
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Kate Maki's pastoral country-folk songs soar with gentle beauty. courtesy of Kate Maki hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of Kate Maki

Ontario-based singer-songwriter Kate Maki's new album, On High, is a collection of pastoral country-folk songs that soar with gentle beauty. Throughout the album, producer Howe Gelb and an assortment of likeminded collaborators add graceful flourishes, but On High easily stands alone as a superb solo album.

Maki's effortless singing functions as the disc's centerpiece, while musically, her supporting cast plays it fairly straight-ahead and honest, neither over- nor underplaying. "Blue Morning," in particular, functions as a recipe for lazy perfection. Country harmonies tumble along, a pedal steel evokes big-sky country, and a gentle piano keeps the song moving in a poised shuffle.

Maki possesses a conversational singing style — much like that of Kathleen Edwards or Lucinda Williams — that feels plaintive, welcome, and warm. It's possible to soak in the space between notes and the sighs between chord changes, and she touches emotions with honest sentiments that recall the likes of Iris DeMent and even Neil Young.

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