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Kate McDonnell

Kate McDonnell is back, with songs that shake you up and grab your bones. "Ballad Of A Bad Girl", Kate’s 5th album, is inspired not only by stories and observations she made over those years in her work as a child therapist, but also by her ability to spin a good yarn. With her last album released in 2006, after sampling this current release, Kate is poised to take her spotlight back from where she left off 15 years ago.

Kate has been called a songwriter’s songwriter, and a musician’s musician. She includes a wide range of topics in her writing, songs exploring family relationships from the cathartic title cut of 2 sister survivors of family dysfunction and father and son, which lays bare that push and pull relationship that is often fraught. Kate becomes introspective on her poetic songs "Berlin", "Pilgrim", and "If I Knew". Here, Kate insists on seeing the light in dark places, a needed sentiment. Then there’s love from a seasoned perspective on tongue in cheek "Love Is The Damndest Thing", where Kate and co-writer Anne Lindley offer up, some 'outrageous' stories about how people define love, damn the torpedoes of judgement. "In Malibu", a dreamy, jazzy tune featuring Kate’s nimble guitar work and
intimate vocals, she and Lindley write of a hapless woman dreamer discouraging her lover from moving to that town of broken promises. Kate displays her vocal prowess on 2 cover tunes, Richard Thompson’s "Dimming Of The Day" and John Fogerty’s "Long As I Can See The Light". Kate nods to her earliest vocal influence, Joan Baez, on "Sweet Virginia".

"Ballad Of A Bad Girl" was recorded at Dreamland Studios in Hurley, New York. Having recorded in the past with esteemed drummer Jerry Marotta, Kate enlisted him and Tony Levin to play electric and electric standup bass. She was lucky enough to find these music giants, formerly of Peter Gabriel’s band, grounded at home due to Covid 19. Ken Helmlinger and Chris Muth, engineered the album, and it was mixed by Paul Logus (Nine Inch Nails, Mary J Blige, Tina Turner, Puff Daddy). Chris Muth, well known among his peers for all things analog (The Hit Factory, Sterling Sound) took part in all aspects of the production and mastering.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Kate picked up her mother’s big Gibson folk guitar with the neck pointing to the right at the age of 4. From that point on, singing and playing was all she wanted to do, and she continued her unique playing approach while influences like Leo Kottke began to help her discover her style. In her teens and early 20's Kate sang with identical twin sister, Anne, then eventually Kate joined with guitarist Freddy Tane in the late 80's. Together they opened for luminaries such as Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, Kathy Mattea, while later also cutting her comic teeth in a women’s trio known as Colossal Olive. Accomplishing what many singer songwriters dream of, Kate played gigs at the Newport Folk Festival, WXPN’s World Cafe, Mountain Stage and the Kennedy Center, among other venues.

Kate moved to upstate New York where she lives with her husband, dog and cat. She is currently booking future gigs in Europe and the US, and is looking forward to more touring.

Visit Kate McDonnell's website