Catie Curtis has been getting a lot of national attention of late. And it’s well-deserved. The Boston based singer-songwriter’s tunes have been heard on a number of network TV shows, including “Grey’s Anatomy.” Her music has graced the soundtracks to Hollywood films such as “500 Miles to Graceland” and “A Slipping Down Life.” Her latest album, “Hello Stranger,” was named one of the Top 10 folk CDs of last year by The Boston Globe.
And if that’s not enough of a career high, she’s also a frequent visitor to the Obamas in the White House.
During two smile-filled sets at Caffe Lena on Saturday evening, Curtis presented a broad range of her well-crafted and catchy songs. Some tunes dealt with social causes, while others ran the spectrum from poetic observations about love to humorous inter-personal relationships – especially regarding the two Guatemalan children that she and her life-partner have adopted.
Performing to the sold-out house, Curtis’s often soaring, but always warm and personal voice was the right fit for the snug intimacy of the venerable Saratoga Springs coffeehouse. In a larger venue, some of the lyrical nuances within “Kiss the Counted,” “My Dad’s Yard” and the uplifting, positive “Happy” might have been lost in the distance between performer and the audience.
Opener Elana Arian, a strong singer-songwriter in her own right, wielded a guitar in her own set, but also did double-duty, switching to fiddle and back-up vocals as she also accompanied Curtis.
Curtis will be returning to Nippertown on Saturday, August 7, sharing a double-bill with Jonatha Brooke at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk