06 November 2016

Kathy Kallick Band for Ireland in Aug. 2017?

L-r: Kathy Kallick, Greg Booth, Annie Staninec, 
Cary Black, Tom Bekeny

A possible visit from a really legendary bluegrass figure, backed by an exciting band, is always good news, so thanks to Peter Thompson, who is helping prepare a tour for the Kathy Kallick Band in these islands for next August. Peter sends this information:

The Kathy Kallick Band has had a fabulous last few years, including a cover story in Bluegrass Unlimited and nice feature for Acoustic Guitar; accolades aplenty, great concerts (all over the place), and numerous festivals, including ones in Colorado (RockyGrass, Mid-Winter Bluegrass Festival, High Mountain Hay Fever); Massachusetts (Joe Val Bluegrass Festival); Washington (Wintergrass); California (Strawberry Music Festival, CBA’s Father's Day Festival, Blythe Bluegrass Festival); Arizona (Pickin' In the Pines); Tennessee (ResoSummit); and North Carolina (IBMA showcases). And they had a hit album/song: 'Time'. I have attached a cell phone video of the band performing that song at Strawberry.

In the past year, Kathy has issued a solo collection of original story songs, Cut to the chase, and, with Laurie Lewis, a tribute to their mentors, Laurie & Kathy sing the songs of Vern & Ray. The band does perform selected songs from these albums, but their own releases are the principal focus. Time and the KKB’s previous release, Between the hollow and the high-rise, have spent more time in the national bluegrass charts than any other 2010-13 releases, and also were the highest-ranked bluegrass releases on the folk-dj chart in those years.

Their latest release is titled Foxhounds, and I’ve attached a video of the title track. The album is Kathy’s twentieth - recordings which include nearly 150 of her compositions - and the fifth with the Kathy Kallick Band. The song 'Foxhounds' is one Kathy wrote about an evening she had with Bill Monroe, sitting outside at his farm and listening with him to his dogs. Instant classic! Foxhounds was released in late November 2015, and was off to a flying start. In addition to landing on many 'Best of 2015' lists, the album and the band are:
  • FolkDJ-l Top Artist Of the Month
  • 'World Wide Bluegrass' Top Artist
  • #1 on the Roots Music Report Bluegrass Chart (seven weeks in a row!)
  • Currently #2 and climbing the National Bluegrass Survey (Bluegrass Unlimited chart)

Kathy’s exceptional career includes winning a Grammy and two IBMA Awards for her part on True life blues: the songs of Bill Monroe; receiving a Lifetime Membership from the California Bluegrass Association; co-founding the internationally-acclaimed band, Good Ol’ Persons, and releasing five albums with them; performing and recording with the Frank Wakefield Band; appearing on three high-profile Rounder collections of bluegrass songs by women; writing and releasing award-winning music for children and families; touring throughout North America, Europe, and Japan; having five title tracks and albums each spend a year in the upper echelon of the national bluegrass charts… and collaborating with the country’s top acoustic musicians, including her mighty current band:

Annie Staninec (fiddle, vocals): 2015 winner of the IBMA Momentum Award (Instrumentalist of the Year), has released a solo album, toured and recorded with Town Mountain and a Cajun band, spent last year as a member of Rod Stewart’s band;
Tom Bekeny (mandolin, vocals): has been playing and singing with Kathy since 1996; plays even more traditional ‘grass (with High Country and Bangers & Grass) as well as jazz (featuring selections from his solo album, Jazzolin);
Greg Booth (dobro, banjo, vocals): learned banjo from Bill Emerson, veteran of several legendary Alaskan bands, won RockyGrass dobro competition, star of YouTube (akslider), ResoMania, and ResoSummit, will have a solo album next year;
Cary Black (acoustic bass, vocals): taught at Evergreen State College, has performed and recorded with an incredible range of musicians, including the Kingston Trio, Ernestine Anderson, Boys of the Lough, Petula Clark, Bob Brozman, Rose Maddox...

Kathy Kallick is one of the best songwriters in bluegrass and acoustic music, always coming up with interesting, sometimes playful, always sure-handed songs [featuring] conversational yet evocative lyrics and solid bluegrass sensibilities. The Kathy Kallick Band is a wonderful combination of youth and experience. All are strong musicians and they create a distinctive band sound. (Chris Stuart, Sing Out!)

This is a top-notch band led by a woman with the warmest, richest voice in our music today. (Katy Daley, WAMU’s Bluegrass Country)

They still play the tried-and-tested mixture of hot bluegrass and cool originals, and latter category provides the album’s opening trio of standout cuts, in my book all virtually guaranteed instant-classic status. [But] every single cut exhibits that characteristic sense of sparkling yet relaxed drive and entirely confident instrumental chops, with splendid, almost incidental, vocal harmonies from every member of the band – you can sure tell they’re in tune with each other in every sense. (David Kidman, Fatea)

Event organisers and venue operators who are interested in presenting the Kathy Kallick Band should contact Peter Thompson by e-mail.

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