Deer Lady: Sonya Cotton’s ‘Red River’

Pub date November 7, 2009

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Red River

By Kimberly Chun

San Francisco-by-way-of-Connecticut singer-songwriter Sonya Cotton hails from the halcyon peaks of Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Judee Sill: she’s a songbird of a soprano, given to praise though drawn to the dark side of folk song. She contemplates the corpse of a doe on the cover of Red River, but rather than dragging the dead deer of genre up a hill and into new turf, ala Grouper, Cotton prefers to pay her respect to the past and observe tradition with reverence and careful attention. Her immaculate footprints: the three-part harmonies on “Bear” and spare arrangement of “Hunters.”