A review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
By Blanche Johnson
I had read about Ratsy on the Internet, heard mention of her on the radio, even checked out her web page before I listened to her debut CD, Squished Under A Train. I had formed an audio image of what I thought her music would sound like - outrageous and on the edge of assaulting one's sensibilities. I mean, *"Ratsy"*?!?
Then I listened to the CD and found this woman with the outrageous name making some of the most beautiful, grounded, sensible music I'd ever heard. Her low, rich voice with just a little catch in it enchanted me and her elegantly simple guitar style completed the effect, carrying me off on soft, romantic strains.
When I listened again, I started to hear her lyrics. There I heard doubts and hopes, dreams and fears that could have come straight from my own heart. They are probably experiences from most any of our hearts at various points in our lives. It was all delivered with a strength of character and sense of humor that saved the whole thing from sinking into a sentimental morass.
Ratsy writes and sings the complexities of human relationships. Intricate patterns of friends and lovers, relatives and strangers weave in and out and through her songs. Sometimes she is touching, sometimes bizarre; always starkly honest. She speaks to those who inhabit her songs and to us with a certainty of the space she occupies. The musical space that she occupies in this world is rapidly expanding, and justifiably so. Buy her CD .... go see her live .... let her share a little of your space. You'll be glad you did.