Welcome to the home of
HOT BLUEGRASS & COOL ORIGINALS!
Hope the new year is treating you & yours well, and that your life has plenty of music!
The KKB had a fabulous 2013, including a hit album/song ("Time"), cover story in Bluegrass Unlimited and nice article in Acoustic Guitar, accolades aplenty, and some great festivals (RockyGrass, Pickin' In the Pines, High Mountain Hay Fever, Parkfield, Cloverdale, IBMA showcases, etc.) and concerts.
We're looking forward to more in 2014, and hope to see you along the way. Confirmed concerts, festivals, and music camps, all with links, are on the SCHEDULE page.
Kathy just released a new album: Cut To the Chase (Live Oak Records), her 18th release, recordings which contain well over 100 of her remarkable original compositions. The new one is a collection of Kathy's story songs, and continues her tradition of once-a-decade releases of not-quite-bluegrass original material, following Matters Of the Heart (Sugar Hill/1993) and Reason & Rhyme (Copper Creek/2004).
Kathy observes, "Story songs are a significant part of the roots of music that I enjoy. They were ways of spreading the news and recounting important events, and I find plot-driven songs appealing - and easy to remember! I also find the fact that something mattered enough to be recounted to be moving and compelling - and it makes me want to sing the song/story in a compelling way."
Kathy recorded several tracks with her current band (Annie, Greg, Tom, and Cary), and others with her bandmates from the Good Ol' Persons (John Reischman, Sally Van Meter), Rustler's Moon (Bill Evans, Cindy Browne), and a previous iteration of the KKB (Amy Stenberg).
But Cut To the Chase contains new and quite wonderful collaborations as well. The revered guitarist-singer-songwriter Clive Gregson co-wrote three of the album's songs with Kathy, and plays his distinctive guitar on four tracks. Sylvia Herold and Paul Kotapish are both members of two beloved Bay Area bands, Wake the Dead (also with Cindy) and Euphonia, and bring new sounds to Kathy's music. Pedal steel legend Bobby Black sweetens a number of the songs, as do contributions from Bay Area stalwarts Molly Tuttle, Patrice Haan, and Richard Brandenburg, as well as Seattle's Nova Devonie.
Kathy was surprised by several aspects of the evolution of the Cut To the Chase songs: "My initial response to all three melodies created by Clive was shock. They were nothing like what I expected - which is precisely why I wanted to collaborate with him. I now find them rather thrilling to play and sing. And it took hearing a piece on the radio about 'Broken Token' genre of folk songs -- seven years apart, set in the month of May, the return of the wandering lover, etc. -- to shape the companion story to one of my earlier songs.
Once again, Tom Size recorded, mixed, and mastered the music, Lisa Berman did the graphic design, and Anne Hamersky took the photos (including the one below). The album's cover drawing -- and photo manipulation throughout -- is by Erik Larsen, creator of the Savage Dragon comic book.
Hope you'll enjoy the new look -- as well as the new music! The album is available at all the shows and camps, as well as from CD Baby.
P.S. Kathy & Laurie Lewis will release their Tribute To Vern & Ray at the CBA's Father's Day Bluegrass Festival in June.
P.P.S. The band begins work on the next KKB album this summer. Some great new songs and tunes are being road-tested, and await your response.
And the hits jes keep on comin' ...
Hope to see you soon -
Kathy, Annie, Tom, Greg, Cary