Catherine Tuttle graduated from Mount Saint Joseph Academy, near Philadelphia. She's a freshman at Harvard College. She's almost nineteen years old.
And she has written, performed and recorded twelve of the most evocative and intense songs to come out of Philadelphia in years.
Catherine's debut album, "Peel," is a collaboration of remarkable talents working with memorable material:
Jef Lee Johnson, lead guitarist for the project, has toured with Aretha Franklin, recorded with Billy Joel, Chaka Khan, Leon Russell, and Huey Lewis, and played with the David Letterman band.
Chico Huff, on bass, has played with James Taylor, jazz guitarist Pat Martino, singer/songwriter Carly Simon, and Annie Haslam of Renaissance, and provided session tracks on no fewer than a dozen recent albums.
Percussionist Doc Gibbs has toured and/or recorded with George Benson, Nancy Wilson, Bob James, Al Jarreau, Grover Washington, Jr. and Erykah Badu,
Glenn Barratt, Producer and Chief Engineer for "Peel" has contributed his talents to recordings by artists such as Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, Elton John and Sting ("Aida"), and Jill Scott. (Glenn's concise assessment of Catherine's work: "This is going to turn some heads.")
Members of Catherine's string section recently finished work on recordings by Jennifer Lopez and Justin Timberlake.
But what is the music like? "What They Will Find," a signature track, begins with an easy rock'n roll chord progression and rhythm guitars reminiscent of Steely Dan, and then, almost imperceptibly, lands you in the middle of a bridge that samples Beethoven's "Fur Elise" - without ever losing the insistent groove of the song.
Her lyrics - "My tears were like kerosene to your fears," or "I'm mean and you're cruel, both have a problem with rules, but that's nothin' new, let's hear it for the mayhem" - are the work of a thoughtful 17 year old going on 30.
And speaking of lyrics - Catherine is part French Canadian and bilingual. "Ange TombÃ©," the final track, is a haunting French anthem of doubt and determination, accompanied by powerful strings.
Catherine wrote her songs on piano and laid down her own piano tracks. Those tracks support, and indeed belong with, the virtuoso tracks around her. But music isn't her only art: two of her oil paintings appear in the liner notes.
"Peel" was released on October 24, 2003 and is available at CDBaby.com. Visit Catherine's website for photos and additional information, at www.catherinetuttle.com.
Don't miss this record. Really. Don't miss this record.
Check out the artist's website:
3. What They Will Find
4. Tell Me Something New
6. Vintage Heart
7. I Confess
8. You Smiled
10. Life in a Bottle
11. Somewhere Between
12. Ange Tombe