Welcome to the home of
HOT BLUEGRASS & COOL ORIGINALS!
We had such a great time at Strawberry! It was sweet to be in the new location, one that's familiar to all of us in the band, as we've played the California Bluegrass Association Father's Day Festival in that site many times. This was the first time for Strawberry, but they will make the Nevada County Fairgrounds their home for a time. We enjoyed being a part of it all, seeing wonderful musicians doing their wonderful things, and catching up with friends - old and new. A particular highlight for us was the magical appearance of Joe Craven! Joe joined us for a performance of one of our new songs from Cut To The Chase ("Trying So Hard To get To You”), and made that song ROCK!
We’re going to repeat some of that fun when Joe and his daughter Hattie sit in with band — after opening the night — at the Freight on Nov. 2nd. That show will conclude a flurry of California gigs, including next week’s shows for The Fresno Folk Society, San Diego Folk Heritage, and the Bluegrass Association of Southern California in Northridge.
Then we come back to the Bay Area to begin work on a new CD!!!! It’s very exciting to investigate new material, and see how the songs evolve. We’ll play some of the new tunes, as well as digging deep into some old favorites and find new things to say, for both the Freight show and one the previous night at the Redwood Bluegrass Associates’ Mountain View home.
And then in November: NASHVILLE!!!
Please check the SCHEDULE page for all the details.
We're also looking at some cool stuff for 2015. We start off in January at the Blythe (CA) Bluegrass Festival, then go to Boston in February for the Joe Val Festival, followed a week later by the Mid-Winter Bluegrass Festival in Denver. THEN Kathy & Cary return to Wintergrass in Seattle for a Vern & Ray Tribute with Laurie Lewis & Friends.
We’ve got additional sessions booked to record the new CD, and are hoping for a fall release. And … maybe 2015 will bring some solo CDs from band members …
Kathy continues her duet performances with Laurie Lewis, and some with Nina Gerber. Tom Bekeny continues his work with the Missing Man Quartet (where is that other guy?) and High Country. Annie, Greg, and Cary all have lots of other musical outlets, and we'll all be participating in interesting music camps in 2015. First up: Kathy gets to return to England for Sore Fingers Music Camp in April, and hang out in the Cotswolds with her old pal Sally Van Meter.
Speaking of Sally, there will be a 40 year Good Ol' Persons reunion at CBA Father's Day festival in June 2015. Some of those persons started playing together in a toddler group...
We're excited about all the new opportunities, and inspired by the people we've met and the places we've been. Especially excited about getting in the recording studio with Cary Black, and putting our heads and hearts together to create brand new sounds for the KKB.
We hope to see you along the way!!!
Thanks to all the DJs for playing the music and all the writers who reviewed the albums. We blush!
"This is my favorite bluegrass album in years!” (Stephen D. Winick, Huffington Post)
"Both have voices that can be sweet, yet carry a razor's edge of their own...It's a treat to have Lewis and Kallick recording together again.” (John Lupton, Country Standard Time)
The saying “Cut to the chase”—meaning “Get to the important thing right now”—goes back to the early days of motion pictures. Movie makers quickly learned that the public didn’t want to sit through lengthy encounters or explanatory titles. Whether it was a scrambling Keystone Cops laugh riot or a thrilling cowboy pursuit, audiences wanted the film to “cut to the chase.” It’s a fitting title for California-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Kathy Kallick’s new album. Travel—including a chase or two—is a predominate theme. And each of the 13 original songs here (ten written solely by Kallick, three in collaboration with Clive Gregson) gets right to the important things: love, longings, desires, and choices in life choices, both good and bad.
The opening track, the high-lonesome “Tryin’ So Hard To Get To You,” finds the singer (spoiler alert) struggling in an almost pathetically funny attempt to join her beloved while gradually realizing that the frustrating delays are a blessing because the relationship is actually dysfunctional, unhappy, and pointless. The pursuit in the title-track “Cut To The Chase” takes place mostly within the close confines of a bar or club, but the journey is equally intense and revealing. The deceptively pretty waltz-time “The Night The Boat Capsized” launches a symbolic but wistful ocean voyage. Other titles transport the listener, in spirit at least, to ancient Greece (“Persephone’s Dream”), a twentieth century European dictatorship (“Franco’s Spain”), and maybe wryly to other dimensions (“The Time Traveler’s Wife”).
Kallick has a fine and versatile voice here: lilting, ornamented, or gutsy as the material requires. The regular members of her band (Annie Staninec, fiddle; Greg Booth, mandolin; Tom Bekeny, mandolin; Cary Black, acoustic bass) do their usual excellent job on several tracks. The album also features Kallick’s studio reunions with two members of the well-recalled Good Ol’ Persons band, John Reischman (mandolin) and Sally Van Meter (Weissenborn slide guitar). Banjoist Bill Evans and a host of other fine musicians are also here, fine fellow travelers all.
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. You might be lulled at first by the easy country sway of “Same Ol’ Song” and then get hit by what that same old song really means. The concluding number, “Ellie,” is especially poignant because of its truths on how a life’s deceptions start in childhood and can grow from very loving intentions. 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.