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Kathy Kallick Band

“Jaw-dropping awesome!!!” is how the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival describes the KKB. The band looks forward to proving them right at every show and with every spin!

The Kathy Kallick Band is based along the west coast, from the San Francisco Bay Area to Anchorage, but their powerful mixture of original and classic music, mirroring their distinctive combination of traditional and contemporary sensibilities, has great appeal everywhere.

Their new release — Horrible World — promises to follow in the tradition of the previous five Kathy Kallick Band albums; all received widespread critical acclaim, and all spent a year in the upper echelons of the national charts. This one contains a half-dozen new Kathy compositions, an original instrumental from KKB member Tom Bekeny, distinctive covers of numbers learned from Bill Monroe, the Carter Family, and Bob Wills, plus a couple of unique interpretations of traditional songs.

  

Kathy Kallick’s exceptional career includes winning a Grammy and two IBMA Awards, receiving a Lifetime Membership from the California Bluegrass Association, co-founding the internationally-acclaimed Good Ol’ Persons, and collaborating with the country’s top acoustic musicians – including her mighty band: Annie Staninec (fiddle), Greg Booth (dobro, banjo), Tom Bekeny (mandolin), and Cary Black (acoustic bass).

Led by one of the music’s extraordinary composers and vocalists, the Kathy Kallick Band is among the most dynamic and affecting groups in bluegrass, and have nearly as much fun as the audience when performing or recording. The material is compelling, the songs have lots to say, the tone ranges from humorous to bittersweet to soulful, the instrumental playing is dazzling, the vocals luminous, the presentation inclusive. We invite you to join them!
   

With much appreciation …

Thanks to John Lawless and Richard Thompson for providing the debut of “Ride Away” via BLUEGRASS TODAY

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Additional thanks to other musicians who’ve had an early listen to Horrible World and provided these comments.

 

“I fell in love with Kathy’s music as a kid listening to her children’s album. She has been a hero and mentor to me for as long as I can remember. On Horrible World, her wisdom, humor, kindness, and deep soul come through in her voice as well as the songs. Kathy’s voice is rich with tradition but completely her own. Her songs are witty, loving, and heartbreaking all at once. And then there’s the hot picking! For longtime fans, or anyone just starting to dig into Kathy’s expansive catalog of classic bluegrass and folk albums, Horrible World is a must listen!”
– Molly Tuttle

 

“I’ve always believed that Bluegrass music is, first and foremost, country music. Over the years it has been influenced by blues, folk, hillbilly, and old school country. The Kathy Kallick Band has wonderfully and skillfully put them together in this recording. It’s not too often that a band can put their hands around all that and still be true to their own roots, but Kathy and her wonderful ensemble make it all happen with top-notch musicianship, groove, and soul. I like all the songs. This will be in my car stereo for a long time — right next to all my blues, folk, hillbilly, and old school country records. The KKB is a treasure.”
– Pat Enright


“The Kathy Kallick Band’s music is always brimming with inspiration, and their newest album, Horrible World, is no exception. This beautiful collection of songs shows off their equally impressive singing, writing, and instrumental abilities — and leaves no doubt that they are one of the top bluegrass acts today.”
– Bronwyn Keith‐Hynes



“Kathy Kallick is one of the pillars that secures the foundation of Americana music! This gathering of songs represents life from many demographics and musical stylings. Musicianship here is some of the best accompianment you will hear; all hearts and minds were synched, and Kathy’s voice is at its best! Tone and emotion overflow.”
– Dale Ann Bradley


“Great songwriting and playing from this stellar group! Kathy and company are delivering the goods with a great mix of originals and covers. Acoustic roots music at its best!”
– Rob Ickes



“A too-often underappreciated and underrated hero of bluegrass’ middle generations once again proves her relevance in this particular musical — and global — moment.”
– Justin Hiltner



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And thanks to Donald Teplyske for the first feature-length review of Horrible World, published in Fever Coulee Bluegrass and Country Standard Time on September 16, 2018

I’ve been writing about Kathy Kallick almost as long as I’ve been writing about roots music. She is undoubtedly one of my favourite bluegrass and Americana performers.

Kathy Kallick’s voice is always warm and inviting, even when singing songs with the coldest of themes; she knows her way around a murderin’ outlaw song as well as anyone, and yet can embrace the complexities of relationships and daily life with seeming ease. While she can and does perform in a range of situations, never is she so strong than when fronting a vibrant, driving bluegrass band, and over the past many years has been releasing complex and engaging albums with her band.

Warmer Shade of Blue (2005) reached a level few bands can ever achieve, and yet she built upon that with three CDs recorded with the current Kathy Kallick Band. Her recording of a few years back with Laurie Lewis honouring Vern & Ray also deserves recognition.

Horrible World (countered in song and on the back cover with “Its A Beautiful World”) continues the Kathy Kallick Band’s streak of excellence. As always, her songs are deep and meaningful creations, ones that find a way to speak to innermost thoughts. She balances these heady moments with unconventional renditions of familiar songs, for example recreating “Cotton-Eyed Joe” as a pensive 3/4 time ballad, before shifting gears ala Monroe’s post-Presley “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”

Tom Bekeny (mandolin) has been part of the group since the start and Walkin’ In My Shoes (1999), and is as central to the KKB sound as its namesake. His interaction with bandmates during the extended instrumental break within the telling “Nothin’ So Bad (It Can’t Get Worse)” is notable.

With a trio of instrumentals — one near-grass (“Cascade Blues”), one western swingin’ (“Boot Heel Drive”), and one bonafide ‘grass (Bekeny’s “Edale)” — and familiar songs including “My Honey Lou” and “Dark As The Night (Blue As The Day)” leading the way, “Horrible World” is a very accessible bluegrass release. This interpretation of “Dark As The Night” is stellar: bluesy and pure yearnsome. “Pockets Full of Rain” is a hopeful new-folk song, and “Ride Away” is a spirited ‘bad guy’ tale, and Kallick goes hard — as she often does — to give voice to this spritely number. “Solid Gone” incorporates years of folk, country, and bluegrass traditions within its words and melody, and Staninec’s singing style is well-suited to this old-timey song.

The album closing “This Beautiful World,” a John Reischman-Kallick co-write, is a gentle meditation for hope and faith, as is “The Sunday Road,” albeit with a bit more pep.

The Kathy Kallick Band is one of the strongest, most consistent and satisfying bluegrass bands going. That they never receive their due from the IBMA voting membership come awards time is a shame. An album like Horrible World could change that, should folks in positions of influence ever bleeding notice. But I’ve been saying similar things for 15 years.

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Finally, thanks to these DJs who have been the first to spin tracks from Horrible World.  There might well be others … thanks for letting us know!

Gaye Auxier: T.G.I.Folk – WDBX, Carbondale, IL
Ken Batista: An American Sampler – WYEP, Pittsburgh, PA
Cindy Baucom: Knee Deep In Bluegrass – syndicated and Bluegrass Country
Ray Baumler: A Variety Of Folk – WRUR, Rochester & WITH, Ithaca, NY
Johnny Bazzano: Your Average Abalone – KRCB, Santa Rosa, CA
Arthur Berman: Pacific Pickin’ – CiTR, Vancuver, BC
Brother Al Bourgoin: Morning Maine – WERU, Blue Hill, ME
Bob Brown: Folk Shows – WNMC, Traverse City, MI
Dennis Brunnenmeyer: County Line – KVMR, Nevada City CA
Jon Colcord: Music For the Mountain – syndicated
DJMK: Breakfast Special – KAOS, Olympia, WA
Stephanie & Patrick Dressen: Rezbilly Breakdown – KDUR, Durango, CO
Kevin Elliott: From the Joshua Tree Inn – WEFT, Champaign, IL
Fred Frawley: Hardly Strictly – WMPG, Portland, ME
Tim Frye: Mountain Mid Day – WPAQ, Mt. Airy, NC
Gerry Goodfriend: Folk Directions – CKUT, Montreal, QC
Richard Gordon: Whiskey Before Breakfast – WRCT, Pittsburgh, PA
Susan Hansen: Watch This Space – WWUH, West Hartford CT
Justin Helmer: Frets – KVSC, St. Cloud, MN
Sam Holmstock : Surrender To the Airwaves – WKKL, Barnstable, MA
Richard Howard: Amarillo Highway – KZMU, Moab, UT
Larry Hoyt: Common Threads – WAER, Syracuse, NY
Craig Huegel: The Waking Hours – WMNF, Tampa, FL
Harlon Joye: Fox’s Minstrel Show – WRFG, Atlanta, GA
Annette Kastner: Back Up and Push – WTJU. Charlottesville, VA
Mike Kear: Music From Foggy Hollow – Pacific Bluegrass Network (Australia) and Bluegrass Country
John Lupton: Rural Free Delivery – WVUD, Newark, DE
Sue Maijala: Women In Music – WTIP, Grand Marais, MN
Chris McGill: Simpatico – WSPN, Saratoga Springs, NY
Rob McGregor: In the Pines – CFRO, Vancouver, BC
Ken Nagelberg: It’s For Folks – WHYR, Baton Rouge, LA
Amy Orlomoski: Bluegrass Café – WHUS, Storrs, CT
Ramblin’ Robert Paslay: Miles of Bluegrass – KRVM, Eugene, OR
Frank Pearsall: Bluegrass Review – WSQL, Brevard, NC
Bill Revill: Acoustic Blender – WESU, Middletown, CT
Jim Rogers: The Bluegrass Ramble – WIUP, Indiana, PA
John Rumsey: Four Strong Winds – KVMR, Nevada City, CA
Mike Russell: Bluegrass Monday – KKUP, Cupertino, CA
Bob Sala: Uncorked – KRSH, Santa Rosa, CA
David Sears: Folk Show – WBGU, Bowling Green, OH
Lucy Smith: American Pastimes – KZFR, Chico, CA
Peter Thompson: Bluegrass Signal, KALW, San Francisco, CA and Bluegrass Country
Mary Tilson: America’s Back 40 – KPFA, Berkeley, CA
Kevin Vance: Across The Great Divide – KPFA, Berkeley, CA

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No videos (yet) of Horrible World songs; these three, featuring songs from Foxhounds, were recorded live at Empty Sea, Seattle on April 1 (no fooling’), 2017:

I’m Not Your Honey Baby Now

Longest Day Of the Year 

Tear Stained Letter