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Sing the Children Over & Sand In My Shoe

Kath Bloom & Loren Connors

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Album Review

Two of the rare albums recorded by the duo of Kath Bloom and Loren MazzaCane Connors in the early 1980s are combined onto a two-CD set on this Australian reissue, with the addition of three non-LP bonus cuts from the same era. On the one hand, Bloom and Connors' unusual combination of woozily sung twee folk in a shaky voice (Bloom) with quizzical folk-blues guitar licks (Connors) is unlike anything else of its time in its mix of the conventional and avant-garde. On the other, it's also true that the approach didn't vary a whole lot within or between albums. So combining two records into one package is a good idea, ameliorating some of the sense of disappointment you might have if you get one LP, like it, and get another one, only to find it pretty much more of the same. The chief difference between the two records is that Bloom wrote a little under half the material on 1982's Sing the Children Over (which also includes traditional songs and Robert Johnson's "Last Fair Deal"), but wrote everything on 1983's Sand in My Shoe; otherwise, they could have almost been cut at the same session. Despite the lack of variety, if you're in the right mood these (and other work by Bloom) remain uniquely appropriate discs to accompany late-night and early-morning moods when you want something that's both low volume and quirky. Of the three bonus tracks, the two recorded live in 1981 are oddly more conventional than the rest of the material, especially as Bloom's supported by some male backup harmony vocals. The final bonus track, "Little Tree" (taken from a 1982 7"), is more typical of what you'll hear on the LPs, except that the sound has a disappointingly harsh lo-fi tinge.

Biography

Born: New Haven, CT

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The daughter of oboist Robert Bloom, Kath Bloom is an American singer/songwriter comparable to Vashti Bunyan. She 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 five albums of fragile, simple folk and blues melodies, the majority...
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Sing the Children Over & Sand In My Shoe, Kath Bloom
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