California bluegrass singer/songwriter Kathy Kallick is finishing work on a new recording with her eponymous touring band, set for a Fall 2012 release on Live Oak Records.
This project will be entitled Time, and features Kallick on guitar and vocals, with Annie Staninec on fiddle, banjo and vocals, Tom Bekeny on mandolin and vocals, Greg Booth on banjo and resonator guitar, and Dan Booth on bass and vocals.
We asked Kathy to share a few words about the songs she has chosen for Time, and she graciously obliged.
“We’ve got a tasty mix of new originals and interesting covers.
The title song is one I wrote, for me to sing with Annie. It’s inspired by the experience of playing music with this young woman who’s the same age as my daughter, and the tune is very informed by her fiddling.
The album took on a bit of a ‘time’ theme, with old next to new, some nods to early influences, and closing with the beautiful old song Long Time Travelling Here Below.
I have a recording of my mother singing this in 1966, and it’s so beautiful and haunting to me. My mom was known for her phrasing, and the deep emotion in her singing. I wanted to try and capture a bit of that and revisit the song with Annie, and see what we could find to say that was new and about us. This gave Annie a chance to debut her frailing banjo playing and to sing lead. I found the kind of harmony I sang with my mother when I first started out – not a clear part, but more entwined.
Tom Bekeny, who’s been playing in this band with me since 1996, brought his homage to Frank Wakefield, The Old Red Mandolin, and Greg Booth introduces his hot new tune, Shuckin’ The Acorns, an instant dobro hit.
Dan Booth takes the lead on a song that comes from the repertoire of Vern and Ray, Thinkin’ Of Home. Those guys were a big influence on me, and Tom, and anybody who started out in bluegrass in Northern California in the 1970s and ’80s, when we had the chance to see and hear them live. The sound of those guys is new to Dan, but he loved it, and played some tribute shows with me and Laurie Lewis, and this song resonated for him. Dan’s always homesick and lonesome!
That Dan Booth loves a lonesome song and he found a beautiful Delmore Brothers song, and moved it into 3/4 time to make it even more lonesome! Lonesome Without You features his soulful and gorgeous singing. With twin fiddles, ooh!
Greg’s back and forth on the banjo and dobro, sometimes in the same song, always with so much to say that’s worth hearing. Annie’s fiddling is more astounding and right on every minute, and she rips through the North Carolina Breakdown.
A couple of Gospels, a couple of story songs, a bluegrass classic, an old time edge, and, voila, a new KKB CD!”
Kallick also raved about her bandmates and what they bring to the table.
“I just love this band, and the variety and versatility available to us – everybody sings, so we can move the harmony stacks around, and the multi-instrumentalists give us so many options. We all love traditional bluegrass, but venture outside the lines quite freely.
I love the vaaaast age differences, and the interplay between our generations, and the way that all disappears when we start to play music as contemporaries and peers. Music is a language that extends outside the boundaries of age, experience, and culture, and we continue to love this conversation!”
We’ll be very much looking forward to hearing more about Time later this year.