CD Review: Katherine Rondeau “New Hope Chateau”

Posted: November 27, 2016 in Music
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new-hope-chateau-coverSinger-songwriter Katherine Rondeau grew up being a lifelong music enthusiast as well as a performer. And while she has spent over a decade working in academia, the love of music has always stuck with her. That is why she recently made the decision to return to music.

The style of music that has influenced Katherine Rondeau’s life more than any other is Folk. She lists people such as Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams and others from the style as influences. With people like that as influences, it is easy to see why Katherine Rondeau would be drawn to Folk music.

Just recently, Katherine Rondeau made her decision to return to music even more permanent as she created her first full-length album of originals and covers. The new release from Katherine Rondeau is called New Hope Chateau.

With Katherine Rondeau choosing Folk as her music of choice, she is able to draw from many different influences to help her create her sound. Rondeau’s album of New Hope Chateau begins with the track “Raise Your Hand,” a song that contains a strong Blues influence. In fact, the style of the song brings to mind something that would have come from Bonnie Raitt. With that Bonnie Raitt vibe, the bluesy feel to the music gives Rondeau the perfect opportunity to show off her “warm-toned vocals”. In fact, her alto voice is perfect for the style of the Blues. And with the obvious political overtones that exist in the song’s lyrics, she proves that she would have fit in well with the artists back in the sixties when Folk was at its peak.

Katherine Rondeau changes the feel of the music on the next track of “Broken Bird”. With the first track containing the feel of the Blues, this track combines some Blues influence with a much stronger Folk influence. The gentler musical approach to the song makes the track feel like it’s a lot closer to classic Folk music than the previous track.

While the majority of the New Hope Chateau release from Katherine Rondeau contains original compositions, she did include several cover tunes from some well-known artists that were part of the folk music movement back in the sixties. Tracks include “Turtle Blues from Janis Joplin, “Long Ago, Far Away” from Bob Dylan, and even “Hit or Miss” from Odetta. For those looking for the more standard songs from known Folk artists, these songs are a great addition to the release.

With the inclusion of songs from some of the most famous names from the sixties’ Folk scene, perhaps the track that stands out the most on the release comes from singer-songwriter Melanie. For her new album, Katherine Rondeau decided to include Melanie’s song “Leftover Wine”. The song features the sound of the guitar, dobro, mandolin and organ. But the instruments are effortlessly pushed into the background to allow her voice to stand out. “Leftover Wine” is a strong track and it helps to give a lot of beauty to New Hope Chateau.

Possibly the most standout song on New Hope Chateau comes very late in the tracking of the album. Katherine Rondeau’s song “When I’m With You” finds the singer and the musicians creating a track that is equal parts Jazz and Folk. That musical blend along with Rondeau’s soulful vocal delivery helps to create a song that seems to set itself apart from the rest of the release. “When I’m With you” could easily be the song that stays with you long after the album comes to an end.

Having slowed the pace of release down with the song “When I’m With You,” Katherine Rondeau picks up the pace back up for one final track. “Off the Rails” is a song that features a strong country sound; not a modern-day Country/Rock crossover feel found in most of today’s Country music, but an honest Country sound that was found in songs from Loretta Lynn or Dolly Parton. “Off the Rails” is as strong as “When I’m With You” before it and could easily be a single.

Katherine Rondeau’s debut release of New Hope Chateau makes good use of her folk roots. And with the singer-songwriter using many different elements that are found in Folk music, her new album is very well-rounded and would be the perfect release for that person who enjoys all styles of Folk.

Click HERE to check out the song “When I’m With You” off of Katherine Rondeau’s new release of New Hope Chateau. 

For more information, check out Katherine Rondeau’s PR firm, Michael J. Media


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