Editors' pick

Jimmy Thackery and Cathy Ponton King


Editorial Review

"The Crux"
By Catherine P. Lewis
Friday, Apr. 6, 2012

Local blues singer-guitarist Cathy Ponton King certainly kicks things off with a sassy note on her latest album, "The Crux." The disc's first track, "Sugarface," finds the singer fussing over an elusive companion; the song is peppered with horns that serve to complement King's confident tone.

That confidence is paramount here: From the feisty take-it-or-leave-it attitude of "I'm Just a Woman (Pours Her Heart Out Way Too Much)" to the direct "I Want You to Be Happy" (with its booming singalong choir), King exudes poise and assertiveness. Even on the more vulnerable "I'm Suffering," her smoky vocals and sultry delivery sound more playful than weak.

King's band (including guitarists Jimmy Thackery and Ronnie Earl and bassist Butch Warren) gives the album an exceedingly polished sound, and together they excel at embracing the spaces between the notes in her songs. The sparseness of "Cerulean Blues" gives the track its intensity, while the simple guitar line that opens "Tattoo on My Heart" sets its pensive tone. While King's songs always sound full, they never feel busy; piano and guitar flourishes shine through, giving the bluesy "The Crux" a rich, intense sound.