A dozen years removed from Berkeley, California’s feminist country-funk chart scrapers Joy of Cooking, Terry Garthwaite was in the difficult middle years of her career when former Columbia Records producer-engineer Fred Catero approached her about signing to his new venture. “I am sick and tired of the Terry Garthwaites (of the world) being told by some asshole in L.A., ‘I don’t hear a hit single,’ or ’What’s the hook?’” Fred Catero told the San Francisco Examiner. He’d recently launched his own Catero imprint to give left-of-center voices a much-needed soapbox. Their resulting album—1984’s Moving Day—is a genre-straddling, sonically masterful work of true originality. Insofar as there was a single with hooks, it was the effervescent earworm “Me To You,” but Catero’s lack of distribution and radio play seems to have doomed the record from the start. The LP sank without a trace, all but ending her career in the traditional record business. Garthwaite found solace and spirituality in the next decade, crafting a pair of underrated tapes that showcase a more explicit version of her Goddess-adjacent supranatural, taking the chant explorations of Moving Day to new experimental heights.
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