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Album Review

Folk singer/songwriter Kath Bloom has a small cult following from the half-dozen LPs, all pressed in small quantities, she issued from the mid-'70s to the mid-'80s with guitarist Loren MazzaCane Connors. Terror is the second album she issued after returning to recording after a gap of about a couple decades. Bloom's older records were rather eccentric folk efforts, owing both to her shaky if endearing vocals, her precious heartfelt songs, and the minimal lo-fi aura of the production. Not much has changed on Terror, except the production isn't as lo-fi, the arrangements are fuller, and the overall execution, while still on the gentle side, doesn't have as much of a hushed, tentative air. The backing even verges on the conventional for a modern folk recording, including bass, mandolin, recorder, drums, electric guitar, slide guitar, violin, and supporting vocals. Bloom's singing still has an odd quiver and vibrato, however, that many conventional folk fans will find too strange to embrace. Some might find her ditties too mawkish, too, though here again they're just that little bit too weird and flighty to be dismissed as run of the mill hippie-ish folk. Not as strikingly original as her vintage work, it's still an engaging listen for those who want quiet folk that doesn't fall into clichés, though it's probably too unusual for most folkies and too folky to find favor in much of the underground.

Customer Reviews

Kath Bloom has something to say, as long as you're willing to listen.

Sometimes, an artist seems inaccessible or a little too far off center to be really appreciated. Kath Bloom can be too easily dismissed as a some kind of burned out hippie throwback, but the careful listener will hear the emotion and passion in her music. Her music is not richly embellished with orchestrations or synthesizers; most often it is a spare, simple guitar with her distinctive voice. There is a sweet melancholia to her sound that speaks of a broken-ness that has mellowed and informs everything she sings. Kath's lyrics seem to lightly touch emotional strings in all of us, even if we don't exactly identify with what she's saying, she certainly helps us understand how she feels. As a fan who has seen Kath perform, I can say that if you get the chance to hear Kath in one of the intimate spaces she performs in, you're in for a treat. She's funny, engaging, quirky, sweet and one of the most emotionally honest performers you'll ever meet.


Born: New Haven, CT

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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 of...
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Terror, Kath Bloom
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