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Katharine Cole


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Folk, country, rocktronica, depending on the mood

Status:

Most recent release, You Do, Don't You (2015)

See also:

Katharine Cole's site

CD Baby's Katharine Cole page

The Ectophiles' Guide's entry for her one-time band project, Kindness. Also released two country albums as Kitty Rose.

Comparisons:

Katharine's voice is one of those great altos with a tremendous range and sheer volume. Her writing style, depending on the mood, will put one in mind of Texas rock, rockabilly, straight ahead country, or the other extreme of speed punk. Think of her as a Texas-bred Alison Moyet. (tjshadb@voyuz.net)

Covers/own material:

Katharine has huge repertoire of songs, primarily original. However, when alter ego "Kitty Ride" makes an appearance, expect to hear covers of all the "you've done me wrong" women country artists.

General comments:

Many Ectophiles have heard Katharine Cole without knowing it. Katharine was the bassist in Penelope Houston's Loners of America, and appears on a number of her albums and still makes the rare guest appearance with Penelope. You might have also heard her with Spanking Violets, of which she was the lead singer, or fronting the Katharine Chase Band, which opened for quite a few major acts in the mid 1990s. Whether as part of a group, or solo with her acoustic guitar, Katharine's music is always looking for a silver lining in the darkest clouds. In a world full of depression, Katharine always looks for the light at the end of the tunnel (and no, it's not an oncoming train). (tjshadb@voyuz.net)

Comments about live performance:

Both solo and as part of Kindness, Katharine puts on a great show. She's a relaxed performer, with many years of stage experience, and is looking to have fun. Her banter is entertaining and generally just fun to be around. Intimate settings are the best way to experience her solo acoustic performances. (tjshadb@voyuz.net)

Recommended first album:

Little Brown Bag

Recordings:

  • The Truth (by The Katharine Chase band, 1995)
  • The Truth (by The Katharine Chase band, 1997)
  • Little Brown Bag (by Katharine Chase, 2001)
  • There Is No God (2014)
  • Brittle Season (2015)
  • Two Years of Kindness (as Katherine Cole and Kindness, compilation, 2015)
  • You Do, Don't You (2015)

The Truth

Release info:

1995—Slot Records

Availability:

See website for availability

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Katharine Chase—lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Ricc Sandoval—lead guitar, vocals
Christa Hillhouse—bass guitar, vocals
Kevin Allen—drums, vocals

Produced by:

The Katharine Chase Band

Comments:

Of the two versions of The Truth this is the better one, and is more readily available. Showing her Texas sensibility, Katharine's songs are born from her experiences and emotions. "Hurricane" is in direct reaction to her family moving after the longest stint she'd ever lived in one place (Dad was career military and working in the space program). "Call Mary" is a true heart-wrencher written after Katharine read about how the partners and loved ones of AIDS patients weren't allowed to visit because they weren't "legal relations". Other standouts include "Dry County" which is the tale of a drunken night driving through an alcohol-free county, trying not to get caught by the police and "The Truth" which is a rather introspective piece about Katharine herself.
     Recommended tracks: "Hurricane", "Call Mary", "This Nation". (tjshadb@voyuz.net)

The Truth

Release info:

1997—Marquee Music

Availability:

Out of print

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans

Group members:

Katharine Chase—lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Ricardo Sandoval—electric guitar, vocals
Kevin Allen—drums, vocals
Ed Cagnacci—bass guitar
Jeffrey Wood—organ

Produced by:

Jeffrey Wood &Bob Siner

Comments:

This version of The Truth was put together quickly after Katharine was signed to Marquee Music, a division of MCA. As such, seven of its ten tracks are shared with the Slot release, albeit re-recorded with a sound of urgency. This recording really makes the Alison Moyet comparison apparent. Even though this was a label release, it sounds much less polished than the previous version. The addition of "Swing Shift", a tale about life trapped in a dying factory town, and "Temptation", an introspective piece on personal values, are the saving graces of this album.
     Recommended tracks: "Swing Shift", "Temptation". (tjshadb@voyuz.net)

Little Brown Bag

Release info:

2001—Mentl Music

Availability:

See website for availability

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Katharine Chase—acoustic guitar, vocals

Guest artists:

Deborah Pardes—background comments

Produced by:

Katharine Chase & Deborah Pardes

Comments:

This collection was recorded without any pretense of recording studio, outboard gear, or technical wizardry. Returning to just a voice, a guitar, and a couple of microphones, these memorable tunes were set down in an afternoon in an empty loft in San Francisco. This bare-boned approach unearths not only the refreshing simplicity of Chase's songs, but the vulnerability and seasoned vocal skills of the artist herself.
     Recommended tracks: "Swingshift", ("I could cry) For That". (tjshadb@voyuz.net)


Thanks to Troy Shadbolt for work on this entry.

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