Welcome to the
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).
With much appreciation …
Thanks to John Lawless and Richard Thompson for providing the debut of “Ride Away” via BLUEGRASS TODAY
– 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
– 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
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.
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!
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
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: