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Album Reviews - "Paper Hearts" & "Once in a Bluegrass Moon"

Katy Boyd - Paper Hearts Reviews

September 2012 - Katy Boyd CD Review ****

Emily Saxton, Maverick Magazine

Colourful, creative and wittingly honest are just some of the words that can be used to describe American singer-songwriter, storyteller and single mother to four, Katy Boyd’s PAPER HEARTS—a stunningly carved follow-up release consisting of nine self-pens and a beautiful banjo-led cover of Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home,” written by Steve Winwood. The album—produced by Thomm Jutz (Nanci Griffith), recorded in Nashville and boasting a first class band of notable musicians including Justin Moses (banjo, mandolin, fiddle); Mark Fain (bass); Fats Kaplin(steel, accordion); Lynn Williams (drums) and producer Thomm Jutz on guitar, keyboards and harmony vocals—has already enjoyed superb acclaim and solid radio airplay both here and in the US since its release late 2011, and it’s easy to see why. 


It’s hard not to fall in love with this delightful collection, as I have upon first listen—a pleasant sounding blend of country-folk (with a dash of pop) fuelled musicality, fused with Katy’s simple, yet effective vocals, memorable lyrics and personally captured stories.

Five songs in particular caught my attention, the first being the gently composed “Jigs & Reels & Ferris Wheels”—a title that simply rolls off the tongue—opening the album beautifully with visual words of love that always seem to end badly; the poignant theme continuing with the melancholic “Mama” which reveals a heart-breaking story about an abusive mother, hooked on drink and a little neglectful of her daughter; its toe-tapping chorus adding an element of catchiness to the song. The comedically told “Happy Single Mother’s Day”—a hysterically sung account of raising four kids single-handedly, by which she toys with the idea of putting them all on eBay and delivering them free to a good home—and the poppy ear-pleaser “I’m Not Depressed”—another wittily written song about being suicidal—deserve a mention here, both sure-footed album highlights, whilst the upbeat, assumed love song, “Circus Folk,” with wonderfully yesteryear-hinted sounds, closes the beautiful album perfectly. It’s an album of never-ageing, never-tiring quality and one which proves its potential to be played time and time again.


July 2012 - Katy Boyd - Paper Hearts 4****


Mike Morrison, American Roots UK


It’s safe to say that this album has some of the best, most sharply observed tales of life with all it’s warts, in modern day country music. In fact that can be extended to any form of music, such is the power of the stories that this tremendously talented country singer songwriter has come up with. Easy listening they certainly aren’t, but quite evocative, at times harrowing, stories they certainly are. 


Very recommended Score : 9/10 - The Roots Revival Website


First time I heard this cd, it blew me away, it was like the eighties and nineties were back with Mary Chapin Carpenter and Nanci Griffith sounding from the speakers.

“Paper Hearts” is the best Americana cd I’ve heard in many years. It seems that Katy has gathered a lot of songs during her long stay in the UK. Together with some great musicians like Fats Kaplin on steel, accordion and Thomm Jutz on guitar, keys she has now recorded an excellent cd in Nashville. The rest of the band consists of Justin Moses on fiddle,mandolin,banjo; Lynn Williams on drums and Mark Fain on bass.

If you like music from Lucinda Williams or Eliza Gilkyson, you can buy this cd blindly.



iTunes Album Review

Paper Hearts is an album that arrives with a bit of a back story, but then so does Katy Boyd herself. Boyd grew up in Northern California's Bay Area, surrounded by countercultural influences and American roots music. But in the ‘80s, early in a promising career as a folk-based singer/songwriter, she ended up moving to England in pursuit of a promised record deal that didn't come to pass. She dropped out of the music scene soon thereafter, and didn't wind up releasing her solo debut until 2010. Soon the revitalized troubadour was busy making up for lost time by unleashing the follow-up record, Paper Hearts.


You can hear the subtle, soulful blend of Boyd's American upbringing and her U.K. years in almost everything she sings over the course of Paper Hearts. Her simple-but-striking vocal style bears trace elements of both Lucinda Williams' dusty, countrified twang and Linda Thompson's cool, classy Brit-folk croon. With that kind of a voice, she might even get away with presenting subpar material, but as it happens, that's far from the case here. The tunes on Paper Hearts are clearly the product of someone who's been around the block (or the world) a time or two — the straightforward, folk/country melodies and unfussy arrangements support lyrics that make trenchant emotional statements while avoiding both cliché and pretense. The windup is an album that's built to last, with layers that continue to reveal themselves through repeated listening. ~ J. Allen, Rovi



Blue Cactus Choir - Once in a Bluegrass Moon Reviews

"A sprawling, yet warm and inviting album that transports you to many different places – some exotic, some comical, but all extremely earthy blend of country, folk, and 70’s soft rock, complete with impeccable harmonies and excellent musicianship.  But, what really elevates these songs is the songwriting.

"is a tasty conflation...often reminding one of CSNY"

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