Kathy Kallick

CUT TO THE CHASE (Live Oak Records, 2014)

Cut To Chase

The third of Kathy’s not-so-strictly-bluegrass collections of mostly originals, this time devoted to her story songs.

“Kallick demonstrates convincingly that not only are her bluegrass chops still in good working order, but she’s still among the more distinctive and adventurous talents in what’s come to be known as the ‘Americana’ format. It’s daring writing for someone who’s been in bluegrass for 40 years, but she carries it off well. Kathy Kallick has never been one to stand pat and do the same old thing, and it’s a big reason for the respect she’s garnered for so long.”

– John Lupton, Sing Out!

“This is not exactly my-old-mountain-home or little-log-cabin-in-the-lane bluegrass song territory, and it’s not casually strolled. But Kallick’s fans will be hugely rewarded by her  thoughtful and often powerful lyrics and music. If the album is a bit of a departure for this accomplished performer, it’s a worthwhile journey and Kallick cuts to the chase on every cut.”

– Richard D. Smith, Bluegrass Unlimited

“The album shifts tempo regularly, which means there’s something here for every mood. Kallick’s reputation as a songwriter is well established and that’s demonstrated in fine form here. Every song tells a story, and the lyrics exhibit a complexity that’s missing from many bluegrass-sounding albums. This is the kind of album that showcases what modern bluegrass should be: recognizing the past, but with a contemporary lyrical twist. Highly recommended.”

– Skot Nelson, No Depression

All songs by Kathy Kallick, except * by Kathy Kallick & Clive Gregson

Kathy Kallick: guitar, lead vocals
Amy Stenberg: harmony vocals
Annie Staninec: fiddle
Bill Evans: banjo
Bobby Black: pedal steel guitar
Cary Black: acoustic bass
Cindy Brown: acoustic bass
Clive Gregson: guitar
Greg Booth: dobro, banjo, harmony vocals
John Reischman: mandolin
Molly Tuttle: guitar, harmony vocals
Nova Devonie: accordion
Patrice Haan: harp, harmony vocals
Paul Kotapish: mandolin
Richard Brandenburg: harmony vocals
Sally Van Meter: Weissenborn guitar
Sylvia Herold: guitar, harmony vocals
Tom Bekeny: mandolin

1. Tryin’ So Hard To Get To You
2. Feet On the Ground
*3. Cut To the Chase
4. Once Upon
5. The Rustler’s Girl
*6. Time Traveler’s Wife
7. Not As Lonesome As Me
8. Persephone’s Dream
*9. Franco’s Spain
10. The Night the Boat Capsized
11. Same Ol’ Song
12. When
13. Ellie


Count Your Blessings

18 bluegrass gospel songs performed by Kathy Kallick between 1982 and 2011, including three otherwise-unreleased tracks.

“Just arrived in this afternoon’s mail. A beautiful experience from Lisa Berman’s elegantly designed CD cover case to the photos of the musicians through the years. Most of all I enjoyed your selection of songs and the much-loved warmth of your voice. I wish tomorrow was a weekday and not the weekend so I could share this CD with my listeners right away.”

– Katy Daley, WAMU’s Bluegrass Country

“Within this beautifully packaged set – all shades of blue, much like her music – one finds 18 bluegrass gospel performances that rank with the very best the music has to offer. Duets have their place as do intimate trios and full-band treatments. Some of the music is very much obviously within the bluegrass traditions and in other places Kallick seasons her sound with elements of near-grass, folk and country. Highlights will be dependent upon personal preference, but I never tire of hearing ‘The Messenger,’ a truly original sounding song with a terrific, if slightly fearsome, story.”

– Donald Teplyske, Fervor Coulee Bluegrass/Country Standard Time

1. There’s A Higher Power (Louvin Brothers via Marshall Family; arr. & add’l lyrics, Kathy Kallick)
The Kathy Kallick Band: Between The Hollow And The High-Rise
2. Lord Protect My Soul (Bill Monroe)
The Kathy Kallick Band: Time
3. Count Your Blessings (Kathy Kallick)
Laurie Lewis & Kathy Kallick: Together
4. The Messenger (Kathy Kallick)
The Kathy Kallick Band: Warmer Kind Of Blue
5. Daniel Prayed (from the Stanley Brothers)
Laurie Lewis & Kathy Kallick: otherwise unreleased
6. I’ll Not Be A Stranger
Kathy Kallick, Keith Little & John Reischman: otherwise unreleased
7. Wings (Kathy Kallick)
The Kathy Kallick Band: Walkin’ In My Shoes
8. Late Last Night (Kathy Kallick)
The Kathy Kallick Band: Warmer Kind Of Blue
9. Center Of The World (Kathy Kallick)
Good Ol’ Persons: Part Of A Story
10. It’s Gonna Rain (Kathy Kallick & John Reischman)
Good Ol’ Persons: Part Of A Story
11.God Gave Noah The Rainbow Sign (trad., arr. and add’l lyrics, Kathy Kallick)
The Kathy Kallick Band: Warmer Kind Of Blue
12. Row Us Over The Tide (trad., arr. Kathy Kallick)
Kathy Kallick: My Mother’s Voice
13. When I Wake Up To Sleep No More
The Kathy Kallick Band: Walkin’ In My Shoes
14. Lone Pilgrim (trad., arr. Kathy Kallick)
Kathy Kallick: Reason and Rhyme
15. In The Middle Of My Town (Kathy Kallick)
The Kathy Kallick Band: Warmer Kind Of Blue
16. Precious Memories
The Kathy Kallick Band: Time
17. I’ll Fly Away (trad., arr. Kathy Kallick)
Kathy Kallick: My Mother’s Voice
18. That Home Above (Bill Monroe)
Good Ol’ Persons: otherwise unreleased

REASON AND RHYME (Copper Creek Records, 2004)

Reason & Rhyme

A series of Kathy’s compositions (plus a few covers), like Matters Of the Heart, in an Americana setting with similar stylistic influences: jazz, rock, folk, country — and bluegrass.

“Kathy Kallick has a natural, non-pretentious quality that goes a long way in acoustic music circles, and this approach holds true for Reason and Rhyme. Unlike a number of artists who attempt to impress listeners with their honest qualities, Kallick just gets down to business, offering off-the-cuff versions of a big handful of original folk songs. There’s a slight country quality to Kallick’s vocals, but what really puts the lyrics across is the emotion she instills into them. It doesn’t hurt that the production is so clean, highlighted by full, though uncluttered, arrangements.”

– Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., AllMusic

“Throughout, the musicianship on the album had been top drawer, but on ‘What A Night.’ we suddenly struck gold. Previously the two guitarists had shared the duties; Scott Nygaard would dazzle on one track, then put his guitar down and let Nina Gerber pick up hers. She would then match him in excellence. And so they went on. But on track 14, they came together, and my goodness, what a moment of musical epiphany! The way the two guitars weave their way around one another, yet always have as first priority the need to support and help project Kallick’s vocal delivery, well it is nothing short of sublime.”

– Dai Woosnam, FolkWorld

Kathy Kallick: lead vocals, guitar
Cindy Brown: acoustic bass
Stuart Duncan: fiddle
Nina Gerber: guitar
Laurie Lewis: vocals, fiddle, acoustic bass
Scott Nygaard: guitar
Herb Pedersen: vocals
Todd Phillips: acoustic bass
John Reischman: mandolin
Peter Rowan: vocals, guitar
Tom Rozum: vocals, mandolin
Amy Stenberg: vocals
Sally Van Meter: dobro
Brian Wicklund: fiddle

1. I Once Loved (Kathy Kallick)
2. Trumpet Vine (Kate Wolf)
3. Coastal Fog (Kathy Kallick)
4. The Words You Don’t Say (Kathy Kallick)
5. Good To Me (Kathy Kallick)
6. You Took Me Away (Kathy Kallick)
7. Just A Song (Kathy Kallick)
8. Love You On A Train (Kathy Kallick & Scott Nygaard)
9. Rustler’s Moon (Kathy Kallick)
10. Lone Pilgrim (Trad., arr. Kathy Kallick)
11. Take Care Of Your Little Girls (Kathy Kallick & Nina Gerber)
12. Handsome Cabin Boy (Trad., arr. Kathy Kallick)
13. Hard To Let Go (Kathy Kallick)
14. What A Night (Kathy Kallick)
15. Bring Me Back To You (Kathy Kallick)

MY MOTHER’S VOICE (Copper Creek Records, 2002)

My Mother's Voice

A collection of songs Kathy learned from her Mom. Dodi Kallick was a prominent Chicago-area folk singer from the mid-1950s through the ’70s. She was a driving force in establishing the coffeehouse scene there, and she performed, taught, and hosted music parties for other enthusiasts. In addition, Dodi collected a number of great songs in a variety of ways, and passed them on to other members of the Chicago folk music community—as well as to her daughter, Kathy. Many of these songs have become traditional music standards, but are sometimes overlooked because they seem too familiar. What Kathy found out was that other musicians also had learned these songs from family members and early mentors, and were delighted to rediscover them during the recording process. All the songs (other than two with the Kathy Kallick Band) were recorded with less than a full band, which, according to Kathy, “allowed each treatment to be hugely flavored by the great players and singers” and “seemed to bring the sound of the songs closer to the setting in which I first heard them: informally and comfortably in an intimate space.”

Kathy Kallick: lead vocals on all tracks, guitar on all tracks, except The Tailor & the Mouse and Web of Birdsong.
All songs: Traditional, arranged by Kathy Kallick, except as noted.

1. East Virginia Blues (Lynn Morris: vocal, clawhammer banjo; Ron Stewart: fiddle)
2. Hello Stranger  (Peter Rowan: vocal, guitar) – from the Carter Family
3. Rosewood Casket (Keith Little: vocal; Sally Van Meter: Lyric slide guitar; Jim Nunally: guitar)
4. Cotton-Eyed Joe (James Leva: vocal, fiddle; Carol Elizabeth Jones: vocal; Bill Evans: banjo)
5. My Native Home (Gene Tortora: dobro; John Reischman: mandolin) – from the Carter Family
6. All The Good Times  (Suzanne Thomas: vocal, guitar)
7. My Home’s Across The Blueridge Mountains (Kate Brislin: vocal; Jody Stecher: vocal, guitar; Keith Little: banjo)
8. Shady Grove (Peter Rowan: vocal, mandolin, guitar; Darol Anger: fiddle)
9. I Never Will Marry (Claire Lynch: vocal; John Reischman: mandolin)
10. Wreck of the Old #9 (Laurie Lewis: vocal, fiddle)
11. The Tailor & The Mouse (A cappella)
12. Willie Poor Boy (Sally Van Meter: Lyric slide guitar; Jim Nunally: guitar; Norton Buffalo: harmonica)
13. Banks of the Ohio (Peter Rowan: vocal, guitar)
14. Row Us Over The Tide (Jody Stecher: vocal, guitar; Kate Brislin: vocal; Amy Stenberg: vocal)
15. Waterbound (Amy Stenberg: vocal, bass; Tom Bekeny: fiddle; Avram Siegel: banjo)
16. I’ll Fly Away (Tom Bekeny: vocal, mandolin; Avram Siegel: vocal, banjo; Amy Stenberg: vocal, bass)
17. Web of Birdsong (John Miller: guitar; John Reischman: mandocello) – written by Bob Coltman

CALL ME A TAXI (Sugar Hill Records, 1996)

Call Me Taxi

“Kathy is a great songwriter with a real knack for coming up with creative and memorable melodies tied to thoughtful and original lyrics. Her songs can break your heart or mend it, sometimes in the same tune.”

– Bluegrass Now

“Kallick pays her deepest respects to the roots of bluegrass music. She just dresses it up a little, adding a few offbeat twists and turns along the way. If you’re looking for another Alison Krauss, try some early Rhonda Vincent. If you’re interested in a unique vocal stylist who writes great songs and picks a pretty mean guitar, give this a listen.”

– Music Monitor

Kathy Kallick: guitar, vocals
John Reischman: mandolin
Todd Phillips: acoustic bass, producer
Sally Van Meter: dobro, vocals
Stuart Duncan: fiddle
Darol Anger: fiddle
Laurie Lewis: fiddle, vocals
Alan O’Bryant: banjo, vocals
Suzanne Thomas: banjo, vocals
Lynn Morris: banjo, guitar, vocals
Scott Nygaard: guitar
Jim Nunally: guitar
Keith Little: vocals
Tim O’Brien: vocals

1. Call Me A Taxi  (Kathy Kallick)
2. Thoughts Of Love and Home (Kathy Kallick)
3. Griddle In the Middle  (Kathy Kallick)
4. True Happy Home  (Kathy Kallick)
5. Close By (from Bill Monroe)
6. Burying Ground  (Kathy Kallick)
7. Once Is Enough  (Kathy Kallick & Todd Phillips)
8. Send Me Your Address From Heaven (trad., add’l lyrics, Kathy Kallick)
9. Old Time’s Sake (Kathy Kallick)
10. My Old Clinch Mt. Home (Carter Family)
11. Stronger Cup (Kathy Kallick)

MATTERS OF THE HEART (Sugar Hill Records, 1993)

Matters Of Heart

“Americana” before the term had been invented, encompassing Latin rhythms, jazz voicings, flat-out rock ‘n’ roll, and contemporary pop-folk arrangements, as well as more familiar acoustic country settings. 

“A skillful songwriter with a knack for catchy melodies and thoughtful lyrics, Kallick’s strong, earthy voice lends a celebratory as well as longing quality to ‘Radio,’ while the ballads like ‘Save Everything’ and ‘Wish Me Well’ combine resilience and sadness.”

– Sing Out!

“Kallick has always been a compelling songwriter, but this song cycle about relationships finds her digging deep into the psyches of her subjects to expose the highs, lows, and persistent ambiguities of romance. Her emotive vocals reflect a new maturity and confidence, and this collection of moving songs represents a major artistic step forward for Kathy Kallick.”

– Dirty Linen

Kathy Kallick: guitar, vocals
John Reischman: mandolin
Todd Phillips: acoustic bass, producer
Jerry Douglas: dobro
Sally Van Meter: dobro
Kevin Wimmer: fiddle, accordion
Stuart Duncan: fiddle
Laurie Lewis: fiddle, vocals
Scott Nygaard: guitar
Nina Gerber: guitar
John R. Burr: piano
Tom Miller: percussion
Paul Van Wageningen: drums
Tim O’Brien: vocals
Ed Johnson: vocals
Chris Webster: vocals

1. Radio  (Kathy Kallick)
2. Bakery Window Wedding  (Kathy Kallick)
3. Man In the Moon (Kathy Kallick)
4. Just Takes Time (Kathy Kallick & Nina Gerber)
5. Midwestern Boy (Kathy Kallick)
6. North Star (Kathy Kallick)
7. You Were In Love (Kathy Kallick & John Reischman)
8. Matters Of the Heart  (Kathy Kallick & Todd Phillips)
9. Quake Of ’89 (Kathy Kallick & Nina Gerber)
10. Save Everything  (Kathy Kallick)
11. See You In Seattle (Kathy Kallick & John Reischman)
12. Red Shirt  (Kathy Kallick)
13. Wish Me Well  (Kathy Kallick)