Kat Eggleston,
First Warm Wind
(Waterbug, 1990)

First Warm Wind is well and truly named. The music comes flowing to you, carried by a gentle south wind. There is the taste and smell of grassy hills and sunshine in these songs by Kat Eggleston.

And the music flows. Sometimes it drifts lightly, other times it sweeps down a hillside to the listener, either way it picks you up and carries you with it. There is a beauty in simplicity and this music finds it, swirling among the lyrics, creating beautiful songs.

The musicians who help create the music are David Lange (keyboards), George Ramsey (recorders), Matt Eggleston (bass), Janet Harrington (oboe), Dan Mohler (fretless bass), Mike McNamara (cello), Kristin Quigley-Brye (French horn), Michael Tomlinson (background vocals on "Dark Side of the Moon"), Steve Guthe (background vocals on "Rose Tattoo"), Mike Nelson (guitar on "Rose Tattoo") and Steve Lalor (guitar on "First Warm Wind"). Kat Eggleston has a wonderfully smooth singing voice, it adds to the flow of the songs and the warmth they contain. She also plays the guitar, hammered dulcimer and mandolin quite well.

The CD starts off with "China," a beautiful love song that floats gently along with the story of a traveller and a place remembered fondly. "Rose Tattoo" is another song about love, about a girl named Sara and her lover. The tempo of the song lets the music dance and adds a sense of laughter to the words.

"Cherry Tree" is a soft, sweet song, looking back at the past and saying goodbye once more to a ghost. "Empty Glass" has a sense of longing in the music right from the first note, as the lyrics show a lonely person who is looking back to a better night. The next song, "Darker Side of the Moon," could easily be the words of a person who is hurting to a former lover, letting one know where to find the other when the night gets too dark. "Equinox" is a beautiful, moving love song, a graceful dance, with moments where the notes are quick and light, the feel of music when the guitarist is on one knee with a rose between the teeth. "Autumn" is a sad song of love that faded away or did not come to pass.

"True Story" tells the story of an older woman met after making a bus trip across the country. The song is a touching reminder that things are not always as they appear, sometimes the best is not always easily seen. In "Your Window," the singer goes back to say goodbye after the other person is gone. And then there is the last song, "First Warm Wind," a song of dusk and the end of summer. It is a song reaching out to someone in grief, offering hope and love.

The songs of First Warm Wind may not always be happy, but there is always a warmth to them. Sometimes -- often in fact -- the drift gently to you and other times they come flowing down the hills swirling occasionally to form harmless eddies. In any case, the songs are wonderful, take the time to listen to them sing.

[ by Paul de Bruijn ]

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