Artist: Mitch Katz
Album: Out of the Blue
Label: Treestar Records
Genre: Acoustic folk/pop
Sounds Like: Jim Croce, James Taylor
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Best Songs: Rosalita, Watch Me
Honest. Honest vocals. Honest songs. Mitch Katz is a singer/songwriter with an amazing ability to connect with his audience in an honest way. Too much music today is embellished with arrangements and instrumentation that hide the song. The first thing that struck me with Mitch’s CD, Out of the Blue, was the simplicity of the songs.
The recording opens up with Rosalita. This is a song about longing. The longing for a girl. Definitely not new territory in the realm of songwriting, but Mitch presents the topic in a way that we can all relate to. Not only that, but you will continue to hum the “la, la, la” chorus throughout the day.
The next thing that struck me were the simple yet stunning arrangements. It’s getting very difficult to find songs that stand on their own without a lot of bells and whistles. In Runaway, the electric guitar and vocal harmonies complement the structure of the song perfectly. Island Time is the long lost Jimmy Buffett song. Mitch gets to show off his ukulele skills in this tune as well.
I was also struck by the way that Mitch tells a story. You really feel like you are there . In One More Try and Watch Me, two ballads from the album, Mr. Katz sings the songs to the listener like a personal living room concert. It’s difficult not to get caught up in the story line and feel that you are watching the characters play out the song right in front of you.
Mitch’s guitar playing is top notch throughout the CD. The strong chord progressions are the perfect rhythmic backdrop. With the solid song writing, the songs need very little more. As a guitar player myself, I really appreciated hearing some beautiful finger picking on this album. Any fan of acoustic music will be thrilled by what they hear.
Fans of James Taylor and Jim Croce, look no further. You have found your new home.