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Monday 22 January 2018

Get the down-low on talented Texan girl Kat

Retro jazz: Kat Edmonson is a female version of Michael Bublé
Retro jazz: Kat Edmonson is a female version of Michael Bublé
John Meagher

John Meagher

Kat Edmonson: Way Down Low (Sony) 3 STARS

Texan singer Kat Edmonson self-released an album of jazz standards a few years back and now, thanks to $50,000 raised in a crowd-funding campaign, she was able to hire producers of the calibre of Al Schmitt and Phil Ramone to work on this album.

The resulting product was spotted by a Sony exec and the Austin-based Edmonson was quickly snapped up.

It's easy to see why one of the majors would be excited about this singer: in places, she could be the female answer to Michael Bublé, content as she is to cover some venerable classics and to deliver originals that sound as though they could have been released in the 1940s and '50s.

Way Down Low features eight original songs, plus five covers, and the tracks are arranged in such a way that Edmonson's lovely, expressive vocals stand tall.

The pick of the lot is her beguiling rendition of the 1940 Ink Spots song, Whispering Grass (Don't Tell the Trees) – which aficionados of naff UK telly culture might know was also a 1975 hit for It Ain't Half Hot, Mum pair Windsor Davis and Don Estelle.

And she has fun with Lyle Lovett on a faithful take on the oft-covered Christmas standard, Baby, It's Cold Outside.

But she struggles to make The Beach Boys' I Just Wasn't Made for These Times her own and her version veers from well intentioned karaoke to painfully drab. Meanwhile, the original material flits from likeable to forgettable – much like the aforementioned Bublé.

KEY TRACKS Whispering Grass (Don't Tell the Trees); Baby, it's Cold Outside

Irish Independent

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