Fools on a Tandem

Artist: Cathy Richardson
Listenability Scale: 100%
Released by: Cash Rich Records
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

You know, I liked Cathy Richardson’s first CD, “Moon, not Banana,” so much, that I hopped in my car, drove as fast as possible to my local cheap CD place, and picked up her sophomore effort (at least I think it’s her sophomore effort – I’ve only seen two) “Fools on a Tandem.” I handed the nice cashier my money, then sped home past two cops, lost them at a stoplight, ran in my apartment, popped in the CD, opened a beer, and had a listen. I had a feeling it would be good, seeing as I loved her first CD so much. My hunch was correct.

Once again, my new favorite artist, Cathy Richardson, made me wonder why she’s not out there on your favorite station. She’s got the voice, she’s got the lyrics, she’s got the sound – she just doesn’t have a national recording contract to go with it.

This time around she basically enlisted the talents of the same folks as her first CD. A couple of collaboration songs with Jim Peterik, a couple with Grant Tye, and a pretty cool, talented band of mostly Cathy singin’ and acoustican’, Grant Tye electric guitarin’, Randy Riley bassin’, and Greg Marsh drummin’.

If you read my review of “Moon, not Banana,” you read how I described her sound. Well, on “Fools on a Tandem,” that’s kinda expanded to some Grateful Dead sounding influence, a little bit more on the reggae style, but she still sings with a blues/gospel voice that can blow the roof off.

The span of songs on this CD, again, range from some “make you cry” songs, some funny songs, even some “statement of society” songs. Yep, she has the love song of “You Might Belong With Me,” the worried about the future in “Crimes of Humanity,” a song that is the first time I have ever heard buffered analgesic put in lyrics, and a cute little song, recorded live, called “O Starry Night, Sorry Night” with the lines “but way up high in the hills without my birth control pills, my emotions got the better of me” and “I wouldn’t give it a chance, I’d put it back in its pants, after all it wasn’t all that exciting.”, if you can’t figure this song out, you had better get a clue.

Cathy seems a little more solid on this CD, and when there is nothing on the radio in my car, I pop in a copy of both “Fools on a Tandem” and “Moon, not Banana.” I know then that I’ll be listening to something cool. She’s great live (you can also read reviews of her shows at Gamekeepers and The Park West), and, I don’t know, I guess I think she deserves a lot more recognition. She, I think, can last for years instead of one album like so many bands these days.

And so, “Fools on a Tandem” gets a 100% on the Entertainment Ave! listenability scale from me. It’s great, especially if you’re looking for someone with cool lyrics, a good voice, and words you can understand. And, if you have problems finding it (especially outside of Chicago), just e-mail me and I’ll let you know how to get your copy.