Count Your Blessings
A Career-Encompassing Overview from one of Bluegrass Music's Sweetest Voices
Kathy Kallick's recent release is a collection of bluegrass gospel both new and previously enjoyed. 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. "Count You Blessings: A Bluegrass Gospel Collection" (self-released on Live Oak Records) includes four recently recorded songs which find Kallick working within the range of settings for which she has become noted.
The hopeful "I'll Not Be A Stranger" features a trio with Keith Little taking the lead vocals and the remarkable John Reischman, who makes several appearances throughout the set, on mandolin. Listening to Kallick sing with Laurie Lewis is always a treat, and their a cappella rendition of "Daniel Prayed" is most impressive. The current Kathy Kallick Band is featured on two additional new recordings, Bill Monroe's "Lord Protect My Soul" and the gospel standard "Precious Memories."
These new recordings, each very enjoyable and enlightening in their message, show the breadth of sounds and approaches contained throughout the collection. 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.
Of the remaining tracks, they have been selected from a range of Kallick releases from 1986's "Part of a Story" (Good Ol' Persons) to last year's "Between the Hollow and the High-rise" from the KKB. 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, and the thematically linked "It's Gonna Rain" and "God Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign." Kallick's "Warmer Kind of Blue" album has long been a favourite, and that album is well-represented by two previously mentioned songs as well as "Late Last Night" and especially "In the Middle of My Town."
Further expanded with a recently discovered live track from 1982, "Count Your Blessings: A Bluegrass Gospel Collection" is a well-constructed set of bluegrass gospel. It should appeal to both Kathy Kallick's many long-time followers and those still discovering the talents of this west coast bluegrass gem.
— Donald Teplyske, Country Standard Time/Fervor Coulee Bluegrass - Nov. 6, 2011
“A beautiful experience from Lisa Berman’s elegantly designed CD cover to the photos of the musicians through the years. Most of all, I enjoyed the selection of songs and the much-loved warmth of Kathy’s voice. I wish tomorrow was a weekday and not the weekend so I could share this CD with my listeners right away.”
— Katy Daley, 3-time IBMA Broadcaster Of the Year Award recipient, broadcasting at the time on Bluegrass Country from 9-noon, Monday-Friday
It looks like west coast Bluegrass artist Kathy Kallick has gathered up 18 gospel songs from a variety of older albums including a couple of her old Copper Creek CDs. It's all good material and very nicely done and the sound is consistent, considering that the various cuts were recorded at different times between 1982 and 2011. A variety of musicians provide good backing: these include Laurie Lewis, Keith Little, Jody Stecher, and John Reischmann. Four of the tracks were previously unissued. The song selection is excellent, and Ms. Kallick turns in especially nice versions of Row Us Over The Tide, The Lone Pilgrim, When I Wake Up To Sleep No More, and God Gave Noah The Rainbow Sign.
— County Sales newsletter
Kathy Kallick has been delighting Bay Area bluegrass fans for 20 years as she performed with the Good Ol' Persons and her own Kathy Kallick Band. Her distinctive vocals have a downhome quality and her songwriting talent provides songs with deep insight and personal meaning.
"The Messenger" has a spirituality that goes beyond one creed and imparts hope for a connection with a higher power. "Wings" is another Kallick original with Tom Bekeny, Avram Siegel, and Amy Stenberg adding harmony vocals to a heaven-bound song.
In this centennial year of Bill Monroe's birth, it's fitting that some of Bill's songs are included. Bill's "Lord Protect My Soul" has a fine vocal quartet led by Kathy's tenor lead. "There's A Higher Power" was written by the Louvin Brothers and the newest Kathy Kallick Band sings the song with a stirring quartet vocal blend combined with a pulsing bluegrass beat. Some of Kathy's finest duets have been with Laurie Lewis, and the duo perform Ralph Stanley's "Daniel Prayed" and a stirring "Count Your Blessings" powered with a Charles Sawtelle guitar solo. Kathy sings an inspired "Lone Pilgrim" accompanied by Laurie's fiddle that is timeless.
This is real treat for Kathy Kallick fans.
— Brenda Hough, Bluegrass Breakdown - Jan., 2012