Whatzup
Dark Hearts, Simple Treasures
Cathy Serrano

by Jason Hoffman
Dark Hearts, Simple Treasures

Cathy Serrano

Dark Hearts, Simple Treasures

A few years back Cathy Serrano stunned the local populace with a folksy album drenched in Native American flute. This debut album, Share The Wind, was a bit short on length (24 minutes) but full of inspiration.

For her follow up, Dark Hearts, Simple Treasures, Serrano has enlisted the help of a number of friends to help flesh out her folk-based songs, increasing the running time while keeping the inspiration. Local favorite Duane Eby adds his acoustic guitar and “effects,” while Mike Patterson lends his tones via electric guitar and upright bass. Last but not least is Mike Andrews whose restrained percussion propels the songs gently along their paths. Together these minstrels co-wrote a delicate full-length album loaded with songs that explore the simple joys of a lonely life.

“In The Corner” opens the album, the first of many songs featuring mid-tempo folk-based acoustic guitar with hand percussion.  Immediately following is “Imaginary Man” where the perfect man is described and then questioned with “Well is he really out there? / If he’s there where can he be? / And if he’s really out there / Is he looking for someone like me?” A more prominent bass, passionate vocals, drum kit and zesty guitar licks adds a rock edge to “The Phoenix,” with its familiar tale of rising anew from ashes. The closer, “Someone For Everyone,” brings in a hint of country twang, appropriately delivering lyrics such as “They say there’s someone for everyone/ But that’s not something I believe.” Unfortunately, fans of the flute might find themselves disappointed, as it is only featured in two songs, “The Dawn,” which bears an especially nice arrangement, and the enjoyable “Rodeo Queen.” 

Serrano seems to be unable to escape her folk roots, not that she’s wanting to try. Her vulnerable, tuneful vocals are at home in the singer-songwriter style, and her tasteful guitar playing is perfectly suited for these songs of sorrow. Dark Hearts, Simple Treasures is available at CDBaby.com. Or, if you’re the patient type, you can wait until the official CD release party September 13 at One World Café in the Three Rivers Food Co-op, where you’ll be able to hear Cathy in person and have your CD autographed while munching on organic goodies. (Jason Hoffman)

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