Cathy Hutch – Free Wheelin’
It’s only her second album and with it comes a wide range of ability and strong artistry. Free Wheelin, the newest album from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canadian singer/songwriter Cathy Hutch is a carefree, enjoyable journey of country music and blues-rock. There are hints of Christian music and a whole lotta love. Simply put – she’s entertaining.
Of the 11 tracks on Free Wheelin, the majority are solid showcases for a strong female singer. Hutch’s voice is at times pop-flavored. Other times she’s angelic and folksy. And, she changes things up shifting nicely into a rock realm a la Pat Benatar. Her official biography compares her to Pat Benatar meets Melissa Etheridge meets Tanya Tucker. She’s full of spunk when she needs to be, and Cathy Hutch holds the listener’s attention with every note, spark, and strutting guitar.
“Know It All” is one of the standout songs on Free Wheelin. I also really enjoyed the title track. Both seem to have an edgier vibe and Hutch comes across playful and spirit. As she sings about her “story to tell” in “Know It All,” Hutch is a distinctly different vocalist than in the previous tracks “Carry You Along” and “Good Friends Like You.” While the two differences might sound at odds, Hutch carries the listener through it all in a positive and loving way. Perhaps that’s the most rock and roll thing to do – her voice certainly has the range.
She mixes things up again with the slow moving “Reflections” and “In My Life.” Hutch’s voice holds such hope, and love. It’s a beautiful presentation when she’s locked in with the country guitar – it’s not too twangy, but just enough to frame your mind into sounds of yesteryear like Patsy Cline or even Joni Mitchell. When she gets back into the heavier groove with “Sweet Dave” you’re ready to crank up the tune and spend the night out on the patio. “Sweet Dave” just embodies the sound of summer and under a blanket of stars.
The piano work in “To Say Goodbye” is gorgeous. This song feels very classic country to me, and there’s a hint of steel guitar. It’s very faint, but it’s there.
It’s evident from her words and her talents that Cathy Hutch supports non-profits and champions those on the Autism spectrum. Her music has a simple message, yet, a profound joy. She sets a fine example and it will be a pleasure to continue to follow her career. While she might keep listeners guessing on the genre, listeners will be certain that they are getting all the love and passion from this Canadian songstress.