Judy Paster

Judy Paster

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In the late 1990s, there was no shortage of female singer/songwriters playing the Philadelphia scene. Some were impressive, some were completely forgettable -- and because the field was so darn competitive, only a very small fraction of them would ever set foot on a Lillith Fair stage. One of the more promising ones who made her recording debut in 1999 was Judy Paster, a native of the upscale Philly suburbs known as the Main Line. For her first recording, Paster decided to go with a five-song EP instead of a full-length album -- and that was probably a wise decision, for Judy Paster doesn't contain any filler. All of the songs make a favorable impression, and that includes the rocking opener "Rise and Fall" as well as more folk-minded material like "In the Sun" (not to be confused with Blondie's surf rock/new wave classic), "All My Relations," and the poignant ballad "Blue Kind of Love." Her songs are introspective, but not in a waifish, delicate sort of way -- the big-voiced Philadelphian tends to be gritty and bluesy, and one gets the impression that she's spent a lot of time listening to Melissa Etheridge and Bonnie Raitt as well as Stevie Nicks. This rewarding CD makes the listener want to keep a close eye on Paster to see how she develops.