The heartbreakingly frail voice of Kath Bloom never sounded quite as haunting, nor as purposeful as on the series of recordings she made with Loren “Mazzacane” Connors during the early 80s. Here her voice is at the peak of its emotive powers: conveying love, loss and naïve wonder in equal measures, all in a homely delivery that comes straight out of some short story by Flannery O’Connor. As she sings, Connors’ guitar snakes its way between her words, shrouding them in his reductionist Delta blues licks which, while still a bit away from the desolate ghosts he would conjure in later years, still resonate with the heavy weight of nostalgia and longing. If you’re able to listen to Since I Met You and Pretty Little Flowers (a live cut and one of several bonus tracks included here) without having something inside you stir, then you are clearly without a soul.
Chapter Music are also set to release Bloom’s new album Terror, a fine set of contemporary folk songs that would appeal to fans of both Gillian Welch and Iris Dement. But if you’re looking for an entry point to the canon of Connecticut’s favourite daughter then this double set is the place to start.