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a_carr.jpg (14297 bytes)Review

Kate Wolf
The Wind Blows Wild

a_carr.jpg (14297 bytes)The San Francisco Bay Guardian
Microgrooves column
May 31, 1989
Review by Derk Richardson

Kate Wolf: Posthumous record shows what we lost.

Kate Wolf, The Wind Blows Wild (Kaleidoscope).
What we lost with the passing of Kate Wolf in late 1986 is brought home with heartwrenching beauty on this first posthumous collection of previously-unreleased studio, radio and concert recordings. Longtime accompanying guitarist Nina Gerber selected this anthology of ten songs recorded between June 1979 and May 1986 (the last in Kate's hospital room). Some arrangements are as simple as Kate's guitar and vocal, some feature additional guitars, mandolin, harmonica, violin, piano, electric bass and double harmony vocals. All turn on a voice that is as honest and intimate as a lover's whisper in the night. Choosing a favorite track is impossible: How can you compare the simplicity of "Old Jerome" with the seductive sweep of "Statues Made of Clay"? Or lines like

     And you wonder if you're wrong
     and if dreamers don't belong
     Listen to the ones who love you best

with the deathbed birthday tribute to Wavy Gravy that asks

     Did you see him
     he was there to wave to you
     All those times
     you've needed him before
     You say this one shall lead you
     he knows we all must go
     The wind blows wild on the shore

Or Kate's "Rising of the Moon" with Utah Phillips' "Clearing in the Forest"? Apologies for less than perfect technical quality are unnecessary. If you need proof that every song, indeed every life, is a snowflake that belongs to the entire world once it is born or that "Love has made a circle/ that holds us all together," you need look no further than The Wind Blows Wild.

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