Josephine Foster, Devendra Banhart, Richard Linklater on Kath Bloom – new album coming

One of the most beautiful singers ever. Heartbreaking.” – Devendra Banhart

“I consider myself one of her biggest fans.” – Josephine Foster

Director Richard Linklater discovered her music sometime in the early ’90s and subsequently featured her song “Come Here” in his 1995 film, Before Sunrise, which you’ll find here:

Terror is the follow-up to seminal avant-folk cult figure Kath Bloom’s 2006 return to active musical duty, Finally. The new album was recorded at Barking Spider Studios in Warren, Connecticut with Kath and her husband Stan Bronski producing. Terror is being released by Chapter Music late Spring 2008. I’m hoping you’ll consider covering Kath via feature or CD review.

The daughter of oboist Robert Bloom, Kath grew up in New Haven, CT, where she studied the cello as a child and started playing the guitar when she was a teenager. Bloom collaborated with Bruce Neumann in the early ’70s, but it wasn’t until she met avant-garde guitarist Loren MazzaCane Connors in 1976 that she started recording. Bloom and Connors recorded six limited edition albums of fragile, simple folk and blues melodies, the majority of which were written by Bloom herself. Their collaboration ended in 1984 with the release of their final album Moonlight. Chapter Music will be re-releasing Sing The Children Over, Sand In My Shoe, Restless, Faithful, Desperate and Moonlight as a pair of two disc sets this Summer with bonus tracks from live recordings and an early 7″.

Her new songs reveal a singer and songwriter as accomplished and affecting as the likes of Lucinda Williams or Gillian Welch at their best. The recording sessions for Terror began in 2005 but were derailed because of family crises and financial issues. Most tracks primarily feature Kath’s gentle guitar picking, haunting vocals, and mournful harmonica., although guitarist Marty Carlson (owner of Barking Spider Studios) added finishing touches to many tracks. The material ranges in vintage from brand new (i.e. “Marty, I just wrote this yesterday”) to as far back as her days working with Loren on “Something To Tell You”. A lot of material stems from a decade later, including “Everything Looks Different,” “Close To Something” and “Midnight Moon.” “Terror” and “Your House Was Burning” were written around the time of Finally’s release.

Bloom stopped recording new material soon after her collaboration with Connors ended, when she and Stan moved to Florida together with her child from a previous marriage to live amidst the orange groves, buying and rehabilitating old houses. Kath eventually received a series of small government grants to operate a number of different after-school programs in music and other arts for latch-key kids as well as a moms-and-babies music class, and had two more children of her own. While struggling to make ends meet, she wrote copious amounts of songs and poetry that went unrecorded at the time.

After a period of child-rearing and family life, Kath began to return to the studio in the 1990s, recording in friends’ lounge rooms or cut-rate studios. Director Richard Linklater discovered Bloom’s music sometime in the early ’90s and subsequently featured her song “Come Here” in his 1995 film, Before Sunrise. By that time, Bloom had started recording again in earnest, and self-released a series of cassettes and CDRs starting with Love Explosion, in 1993, including Come Here: The Florida Years in 1999 and Finally, released on Chapter Music in 2006, her first non-CDR release since 1984. One re-release compilation of her material with Connors emerged in 2000 but went out of print almost as soon as it was released.

Besides writing, recording and performing for adult audiences Kath also makes music for children via various “Love At Work” presentations. She brings dynamic, interactive, music-driven performances to “children of all ages” in conjunction with longtime collaborator Tom Hanford and husband Stan Bronski. She teaches “Love at Work” preschool classes to children up through five years of age with a caregiver several weekday mornings and does afterschool programs on occasion encouraging the children to write their own music. “Love At Work” brings its joyful noise to libraries, nursing homes, day care centers. Outside her musical endeavors trains “problem” ponies, exercises horses and teaches children to ride, undertakings that she began in Florida and continues in Connecticut.

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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