Cat Power – in session for John Peel – June 18, 2000 -July 20, 2000 – Re-Broadcast December 13, 2000 – BBC Radio 1 –
Cat Power in session for John Peel – two sessions; first recorded in June and the second in July of 2000, featuring seven songs in all.
A career that has had its peaks and valleys, but one where the sheer artistry and sincerity of spirit shines through with crystal clarity. I can’t really think of another artist whose spellbinding quality of her voice seems perfect – no other explanation. There are hints and flashes and certain similarities of nuance with other singers. Hope Sandoval comes to mind for the dream-like nuances of her tone – that ethereal, other-world tapestry that is truly mesmerizing, while at the same time cutting razor sharp images with her words.
The majority of songs in this seven song set are covers of other artists material from Bob Dylan to Oasis. What sets her far apart from most covers, and really what separates an artist from a very good interpreter, is the ability to take a song, familiar though it might be, and to claim it your own – putting your unmistakable stamp and seeing through fresh eyes.
Charlyn Marie “Chan” Marshall, better known by her stage name Cat Power, was Born in Atlanta, and raised throughout the southern United States. She began performing in local bands in Atlanta in the early 1990s. After opening for Liz Phair in 1993, she worked with Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and Tim Foljahn of Two Dollar Guitar, with whom she recorded her first two albums, Dear Sir (1995) and Myra Lee (1996), on the same day in 1994. In 1996, she signed with Matador Records, and released a third album of new material with Shelley and Foljahn, What Would the Community Think. Following this, she released the critically acclaimed Moon Pix (1998), recorded with members of Dirty Three, and The Covers Record (2000), a collection of sparsely arranged cover songs.
After a brief hiatus she released You Are Free (2003), featuring guest musicians Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder, followed by the soul-influenced The Greatest (2006), recorded with numerous Memphis studio musicians. A second album of cover tracks, Jukebox, was released in 2008. In 2012 she released the self-produced Sun, which debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200, the highest charting album of her career to date.
Critics have noted the constant evolution of Cat Power’s sound, with a mix of punk, folk and blues on her earliest albums, and elements of soul and other genres more prevalent in her later material. Sun incorporated electronica.
Have a listen to this 2000 session from John Peel – repeated listenings are definite possibilities.