Cathy Hutch – Free Wheelin’
Cathy Hutch’s latest release, entitled “Free Wheelin’” was engineered and produced by Paul Milner (Eddy Grant, Keith Richards, Matt Andersen, Glass Tiger), with Geoff Arsenault (Ray Bonneville, Dutch Mason, Matt Andersen) and Chris Corrigan; (Rita MacNeil, Mary Jane Lamond, Matt Minglewood). Hutch’s debut CD “Not Goin’ Back” was also recorded in Nashville and backed by stellar musicians such as Mike Brignardello, Pat Buchanan and Lonnie Wilson (Brooks and Dunn, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill).
This isn’t some pedestrian artist with no backbone or mojo like a lot of today’s artists, she’s mature, loaded with skills and knows how to use them. “Carry You Along” is a well-crafted opener with everything going for it as a single, which the release comes with a potent many of. Everything stands up here with the best of what blues, rock and even country music have to say today. This is an honestly rocking cut with not one flaw to mention. It’s that good, and it only takes one listen to agree with that much, but you won’t stop there.
“Good Friends Like You” is also very noteworthy, with some of the best timbre in Hutch’s voice on display. It’s a lovely track with just as much going for it as the former, and many of the tracks to follow. And ‘Know It All” is even better, which is enormously satisfying to report. The pace here just works best on your ears for the entire record. It’s right in the pocket and the lyrics are witty and the vocals and music are upbeat and fresh, with that radio-accessibility most classic rock lovers are looking for. This monster track keeps up with the Tom Petty’s of the world and beyond, with everyone turning in a jubilant performance in the studio.
“Reflections Of My Life” is the only cover on the album, but it’s where things slow down a little and make you think, as this song does for anyone who already knows it. If you’re not familiar with this classic rock number it’s a decades old track worth catching up with, and Hutch helps put it back where it belongs with the help of some superior guitar work. You feel the pain and sorrow as she both pays respect and adds some of her own artistic flare to round it out with pure class. She makes the whole thing worth dredging up and putting back in the spotlight where it should shine more to the masses.
“To Say Goodbye” is a melancholy piece with Hutch’s voice doing most of the business, but the music does accompany her with a called for precision and the lyrics do the rest, almost like a Sunday morning sermon. This is one of the more personal songs Hutch brings to the table, and it’s one of the best tracks on the album and not to be skipped in the process of taking it all in. “Sweet Dave” is another highlight and so are the sassy “Attitude Of Gratitude” and title cut “Free Wheelin’” to further convince anyone interested in what Cathy Hutch is cooking up in the studio and on the world stages.