CD Review: Katie Wilson

Katie Wilson is the self-titled debut album released in 2009. Katie and her band followed up the release by winning the 2010 Podunk Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, the same year that Podunk won the IBMA Event of the Year Award. Her website lists her influences as bluegrass, blues, gospel, and reggae, and I’m not so sure I don’t hear a bit of klezmer in there. Katie’s vocal talents are so strong she could sing in whatever genre she desired, bluegrass is blessed that she decided to shine her light that way. The self-titled CD is a trip down the bluesier side of bluegrass. For HVBA members familiar with Too Blue, I find many similarities in sound between the bands, maybe there’s something in the water over that way? 🙂

Almost all the songs in this recording were written by Katie and/or fellow musician and producer Richard Neal. Just a sampling of the songs gives us the bluesy “Nothin’ But A Woman” that lacks only a smokey bar, the lilting “More Than Love,” a more traditional bluegrass stomp in “Beacon,” a country love ballad in “Man On The Mountain,”and two takes on moonshine songs with “Kentucky Moonshine” and “Likker Blues” (funny how love songs seem to end up mixing with booze… another old country/bluegrass tradition!). Also in the mix is a wonderful cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Sugaree” – I might be biased since my Dead collection is almost as big as my bluegrass collection, but Katie nails this one!

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“Nothing But A Woman”

I was at the Podunk Bluegrass Festival in East Hartford over this past summer and got to see Katie perform, and have to say that I was surprised by how young she sounds on the stage during song introductions and band chatter, and how mature she sounds singing both on stage and on the CD. This recording shows both that she’s off to a great start, and that she’ll be around the music scene for many years to come!

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