Kathy Kallick Band News
Aug. 7, 2020
What an interesting time for reflection, renewal, and invention! It's weird that we're not getting to play any festivals or concerts, or be at music camps; we were looking forward to a wonderful summer filled with all that fun. Our band hasn't even been able to get together since our
excellent little tour last January.
Spreading the bluegrass gospel with Laurel Bliss & Cliff Perry
Thanks to the California Bluegrass Association not only for the terrific 5-part Turn Your Radio OnLINE series (see details of our participation below) but also for being so supportive of musicians scheduled to play the 2020 Father's Day Festival.
I miss everybody -- all the conversations, jokes, and music -- and look forward to when we'll get past this pandemic and be able to play music together.
We wish you all the best; stay safe and wear your mask -
Annie Staninec, Greg Booth, Tom Bekeny, and Cary Black
~~~ news & views from the
Where to get the recordings
Horrible World was the 21st release featuring Kathy, which includes six albums with the Kathy Kallick Band. See below for the complete list, including Annie's and Tom's solo albums. With the demise of CD Baby -- as well as the lack of concerts, festivals, and music camps -- it's sometimes challenging to find retail outlets for all this great music.
has once again become THE place to acquire bluegrass and related CDs. Thanks to them -- and thanks to YOU -- for the support!
KATHY KALLICK BAND: Horrible World (2018)
KATHY KALLICK BAND: Foxhounds (2015)
KATHY KALLICK BAND: Time (2012)
KATHY KALLICK BAND: Between the Hollow & the High-Rise (2010)
KATHY KALLICK BAND: Warmer Kind Of Blue (2005)
KATHY KALLICK BAND: Walkin' In My Shoes (1999)
KATHY KALLICK: Cut To the Chase (2014)
KATHY KALLICK: Count Your Blessings (2011)
KATHY KALLICK: Reason & Rhyme (2004)
KATHY KALLICK: My Mother's Voice (2002)
KATHY KALLICK: Call Me A Taxi (1996)
KATHY KALLICK: Matters Of the Heart (1993)
KATHY KALLICK: Use A Napkin (Not Your Mom) (1995)
KATHY KALLICK: What Do You Dream About? (1990)
GOOD OL' PERSONS: Good N' Live (1995)
GOOD OL' PERSONS: Anywhere the Wind Blows (1989)
GOOD OL' PERSONS: Part Of A Story (1986)
GOOD OL' PERSONS: I Can't Stand To Ramble (1983)
GOOD OL' PERSONS: Good Ol' Persons (1977)
LAURIE LEWIS & KATHY KALLICK: Sing the Songs Of Vern & Ray (2014)
LAURIE LEWIS & KATHY KALLICK: Together (1991)
ANNIE STANINEC: Annie Staninec (2015)
TOM BEKENY: Jazzolin (2013)
The Kathy Kallick Band -- new and old --
on your laptop and on the radio
The California Bluegrass Association's 5-part Turn Your Radio OnLINE series was presented throughout June in lieu of this year's Father's Day Festival, and it's still available on YouTube. It includes seven songs performed by the Kathy Kallick Band as part of Kathy's show, My Route To 66, at the Freight & Salvage on Sept. 19, 2018. You can view this thrilling half-hour, preceded by some very cute introductions from all the band members, starting at 2:25:20 HERE.
More music from that same show will be presented at an upcoming Freight At Home
livestream; the shows happen on Saturdays at 5pm (Pacific Time) and are available on YouTube thereafter; check the link for the webcast date.
Irene Young shot and edited the video of the 9-19-18 show, as well as this photo of the band in action, so you know it looks as good as it sounds.
On the radio side of the street, Peter Thompson has been presenting a series of radio shows based on live sessions recorded at KALW Radio during the past 20+ years. Tomorrow, August 8th at 6:30 pm (Pacific) -- and available
(select 'Bluegrass Signal') for one week -- he turns back the hands of time to May 10, 2003, when an earlier iteration of the KKB (with Tom, Amy Stenberg, and Avram Siegel) came to the station for Bluegrass Signal. The show also includes a few songs recorded live at the Freight with fiddler Brian Wicklund added to the band. Complete playlist and links HERE.
The first hour of this program is also broadcast on
Finally ... on Aug. 25th, Kathy is the featured guest on Bluegrass Stories, a weekly podcast produced and hosted by Katy Daley and Howard Parker.
Listen to this HERE or HERE.
Song Lyrics Matter
I've been thinking a lot about my role in supporting Black Lives Matter, and how to be an ally for Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color. There are great organizations I can contribute to, many powerful, brilliant books to read, and conversations to be had with family and friends. There are ways in which I have a deepened understanding of the tragic racist past of our country, and a commitment to do whatever I can to be part of change for the good. This is a wild and beautiful time in our country in many ways. There's so much awakening, connection, and love in the courage of standing up and saying, "No. No more. There must be an end to the murder of Black people right now!"
When I bring all this back to my little world, and my role in it, I always come back to the music I have loved for the last 45 years. The music I have commited my adult life to playing, performing, creating, and yes, preserving. It's not easy to explain to some why the music of southern rural white men rocked my world. But it did, it grabbed me and wouldn't let go. That said, it wasn't always saying things that fit me, or resonated for me, and that's why I have written so much of the music I play.
Over the last few years, I have become increasingly and acutely aware of the racist roots of much of this music. It's become untenable for me. I know most of the songs with racist lyrics were cleaned up before I heard and learned them, and I was swept away by the beauty of the melodies as well as the sanitized stories. But these songs have been used in racist settings, and to further the goals of white supremacy in ways that I can no longer tolerate.
I'll just say it plainly.
There were no happy enslaved Africans. It never happened even once. And to sing songs that present this scenario is harmful. So, that challenges a number of songs and song sources I have loved but was too naive, or ignorant, to see the deeper truth of these songs. I will not sing the songs that tell the false story of happy slaves. There are tunes, instrumentals, that possibly predate their racist associations. But once the racist lyrics were applied to those melodies, they stuck.
I don't wanna play those tunes.
Also, if I'm ever going to sing a song that comes from black musicians, or enslaved Africans, I will tell that history and give credit.
Will this limit the songs I can sing? I dunno, maybe, but there are thousands of songs in the world, and I'm still writing my own songs, so I feel there are ample choices of songs that will be moving, beautiful, entertaining, etc. This is a completely personal choice, and nothing I would seek to impose on anybody else. We all have to sing the songs that resonate for us, that make us feel the things we want to feel. If I'm gonna ever be able to sing a song from my heart, I have to believe in the lyrics. I may find a song that I've sung for years is no longer a good fit. I can choose to stop singing that song while never regretting the many times I've loved singing it in the past. Change happens in steps, and sometimes that happens at a glacial pace.
I want to be part of change for the better.
I invite anybody and everybody to consider choices of songs, think about the context and the content of each song, the potential for harm in a song, and sing the ones that feel like the thing you want to say. Say to the people around you and the greater world outside you. Songs that say the things you believe in and want to convey. Sing the songs that fit your conscience, and sing from your heart. I'm excited to come back to music with a sense of purpose and intent in every note and lyric!