Published on 27th April 2021
The Kate Hinote Trio – Near
This is the debut album from the Kate Hinote Trio offering a selection of what, maybe, could be called alt-folk; the tracks are moody, acoustic and beautiful. So who are this trio? Well, Kate is a very gifted singer with and amazing range who has worked with other projects including the Blueflowers. Blueflowers bandmate David Johnson appears on acoustic guitar with Matthew Parmenter from prog outfit Discipline on violin.
The album consists of eleven tracks, most of which are from other Detroit-based songwriters. These have either been borrowed or gifted, the writers including Matthew Smith, Emily Rose, Don Duprie, Alison Lewis, Anthony Retka, Duende, Jayne Allen Thomas, plus Matthew Parmenter. Also, Kate and Matthew’s first songwriting collaboration appears on this album with the Prog-Folk tinged Where You Dream Now. The album was recorded at Tempermill Studios in Ferndale, Michigan with recording engineer Tony Hamera.
This is an enjoyable collection, lifted by Kate’s wonderful voice. Dave’s delicate, precise acoustic guitar and the amazing sounds of Matthew’s violin add lovely textures and feeling. The three appear to have a unique connection which is reflected in the song construction and presentation throughout these eleven tracks.
All the songs here are worthy of a mention as they offer an emotive and thoroughly enjoyable listening experience, but there are highlights that I feel stand out. Quick, written by Emily Rose, is wonderfully presented, and I believe it is Kate’s favourite track on the album. Kate’s writing partnership with Matthew gives us the song Where You Dream Now. This has a great vocal but also some great violin, pulsating, stabbing at times but also providing a fluidity, with good support provided by the acoustic guitar. All this goes to giving the song its Prog/Folk feel. That’s a good thing and helps to make this another stand out track. Also, their version of Murder Doesn’t Hide the Truth is excellent, another great listening experience where all of the trio shine.
Some Fear Growing Old was written by Matthew Parmenter and closes the album, a song which addresses the fears – for some – of old age. It’s an achingly beautiful presentation with Kate’s heartfelt delivery of the lyrics, ably supported by Dave’s guitar and Matthew’s violin tugging at the heart strings. This fits the final piece into what is an emotional song. The cleverness of the song lies in the way it addresses the fears that many older people must feel, but not in a sad way. In fact, I believe, in a way that says it is natural to feel these things as part of the natural progression of life, and maybe there is nothing to fear.
This, for me, has been a wonderful listening experience. The care and attention to the presentation of the songs is what could be their hidden success. The sounds are uncluttered and no instrument appears to dominate, they just support and strengthen Kate’s vocals in what could be the perfect alt-folk trio. It’s an excellent first album.
01. Make Me Stop (4:09)
02. The Road (2:41)
03. What About Me (4:44)
04. Quick (4:18)
05. Murder Doesn’t Hide the Truth (4:20)
06. Where You Dream Now (5:11)
07. Dresden Leather (2:58)
08. Everything is Good (3:58)
09. Moon Draws Water (4:00)
10. New Creature (2:45)
11. Some Fear Growing Old (5:00)
Total Time – 44:30
Kate Hinote – Vocals
David Johnson – Acoustic Guitar
Matthew Parmenter – Violin
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 19th March 2021