Curt Yagi's Second Album Charismatic, Uplifting

Hearing one of Curt Yagi’s original songs from his Close My Eyes (March 2011) album for the first time is like going for a walk in the woods and finding a unicorn. You keep listening to make sure it’s really what it seems to be — a real find.

Yagi’s expressive voice is one of the two pillars that gives his acoustic sound its unique charisma. In timbre it ranges from Bob Dylan without the sneer to a more earnest Cliff Richard. And he isn’t afraid to take it places — from euphoric to aching, from primal to intimate. The dynamic range of the tonal changes makes the album as much tactile as aural.

The other pillar is Yagi’s bandwidth. You instantly feel that he communes on a deeper level than most artists. The chorus of “Home” — our personal favorite — picks you up and carries you along with its swingy rhythm on a nostalgic, yearning, primal, energizing journey. The title track “Close My Eyes” uses a reggae beat to evoke a sunny day overlayed with regret and longing. Then there’s “Sweet Kiss”, the album’s least complex track. Its reggae rhythm and simple lyrics communicate a tender, insistent physical longing.

Each of the nine tracks is rich, complex, immensely companionable. The album is good company for a long drive — mellow and introspective yet oddly uplifting.

A release party for the album is scheduled for March 19, 2011 at the Union Room in San Francisco. For details visit:

Listening to Close My Eyes a couple times through aroused our curiosity about the singer/songwriter. Here’s what we learned:

Goldsea: Tell us when and where you were born and something about your parents.
Curt Yagi:: I was born Feb 13, 1971 in Hayward, CA and grew up in Fremont, CA.  My parents were both teachers (my mother was at least prior to the birth of my sister and I) and just some great, giving people.  I was fortunate to grow up in a loving household in a good neighborhood.  I get my athletic side from my Dad and musical side from my Mom.

GS: Give us a picture of your childhood, including some Kodak moments.
CY: (Emailing 2 photos shown on page 2) The first picture is from 1974 and is from Christmas.  I am on the right of the second picture during Kendo practice when I was a kid.

GS: What kind of teen were you? Tell us about your high school years.
CY: I was always pretty quiet, did well in school and never really thought of doing music.  My big focus at the time was wrestling for my high school team.  At some point during high school, I heard my mother play a rock song on the piano and I was blown away.  I taught myself to play after that moment and just played for fun (never in front of anyone). Next

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