“Keyboard Cathy” Wiegand
This vaguely religious-looking disc contains some amazing Broadway style songs, none of which appear to come from an actual stage show. Keyboard Cathy hails from somewhere in Jersey, and her self-produced Inspiration CD shows just what you can do without a major label behind you. The songs range from vaguely inspirational (“Golden Child”) to softly romantic (“Eternity”) to quirky (“Sushi Lover”), but her self-confessed favorite is the theme song from 2005’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “So Long & Thanks for All the Fish.”
That song propelled her into a professional musical career, and in three years, she has come quite far. Her voice is a pleasant alto, her backing clean and competent. She calls her style “Broadway pop” and while that’s a little hard to pin down, the emphasis is on complex, storytelling lyrics backed by simple, hummable melodies that stick with you for days. “Sushi Lover” is a good, if extended example. It’s a date, and she’s giving a loving description of the ultimate sushi experience from an ice cold Asahi brew to a set of razor sharp chop sticks to the green tea ice cream and the staggering bill. There’s a vaguely Oriental-sounding harpsichord in the background, operatic choruses, and a mix of spoken word and singing. It also has the old Japanese saying, “too much wasabi makes you stupid,” which may well be true — at least in Jersey.
Keyboard Cathy is a wonderful, pleasant surprise on the dusty road of music criticism, and a must for any aficionado of musical theater.