Here & Now
"Vermont suffers no shortage of talented singer-songwriters. Perhaps more than any other genre, rootsy folk seems to grow like trees in these Green Mountains. And among that sparkling cadre of tunesmiths, few are more highly regarded than Karen McFeeters. She has been heralded as the total package, with a rare combination of poetic grace, compositional ingenuity and remarkable vocal prowess. With her latest effort, Here and Now, a follow up to 2004's Maybe Day, she exhibits all those qualities, cementing her place among the state's finest performers. It's been said that Sinatra could sing the phone book and make it sound good. For me, the corollary might be a clothing catalogue, and if McFeeters ever sings it, I'll listen. But McFeeters is more than just a pretty voice. She is also a strong lyricist, capturing a range of emotions throughout the album with impressive dexterity and tact. From the breezy peacefulness of the aforementioned title cut to the looming heartache of "Fall Back on Love" and the wistful pop-rock of "Growing Pains," McFeeters proves a subtly sturdy wordsmith. She is at her best in introspective moments, as on "Letting Go" or "Ila's Moon." But even on more upbeat tunes such as "This Love I'm In," she handles herself well, balancing potentially Hallmark-esque sentiments with touching earnestness. Refreshingly direct and honest, Here and Now is simply a fine recording from a truly gifted local talent." Dan Bolles, Seven Days, Burlington, Vermont.