Biography - Songwriter and Fiddler
Uranium Maiden, Released 2022
Kate's next recording project is a collection of Jean Ritchie songs.
Here's a review of Wintergrace:
"This is a recent recording and a song covered from an American singer-songwriter, Jean Ritchie, but it is as if I'm listening to a recording by Fairport Convention from, say 1970. (Sounding extremely good, granted.) It is the first release by Kate MacLeod, a folk singer-songwriter from the U.S., who is working on a tribute project of songs by Jean Ritchie, who lived from 1922 to 2015. If a word underscores the music on this song it is grace. Wintergrace is so graceful. MacLeod sings and plays guitar and dulcimer. She is accompanied by John Bryant on acoustic bass and Morgan Morrison's harmony vocals. Together they cast a spell with Wintergrace lasting a full five minutes. Despite all involved are American (Appalachian) musicians, this song is pure U.K. folk of the kind that I hear every once in a while but never at this level of musicianship. MacLeod has only just started. Expect more under the moniker
The Jean Richie Experience soon."
WONOMAGAZINE - Jan, 2023
Americana musician Kate MacLeod is both an Easterner and a Westerner, equally adept at her guitar as she is on her fiddle, and can't be kept in one musical box. Yet despite her versatile nature, she personifies the definition of Americana and compels reviewers to compare her to our roots. As stated by SingOut! Magazine, she "channels the spirit of the great Carter Family classics.” Kate brings music to you through her original songs, fiddle instrumentals, and creative renditions of traditional and popular music. Since her first recording (produced by Charles Sawtelle of Hot Rize) her songs have been recorded by other artists from California to the Czech Republic. Musicians such as Laurie Lewis and Mollie O'Brien sing her songs regularly, and Tim O'Brien produced her Blooming recording with an all-star band including Tim, Darrell Scott, Byron House, and the late Kenny Malone. Kate has toured in the United States, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and the UK. She was chosen for the Best of the West Award, 2019, by the Far-West division of the Folk Alliance International. In addition to her Americana music, her original instrumental pieces are well suited for film soundtracks and have been used in a variety of documentaries. Her current projects include recording new renditions of songs by the American folk musician, Kentucky-born Jean Ritchie. Kate resides in both Salt Lake City, UT, and Harpers Ferry, WV.
Kate has opened for artists such as Rosanne Cash, Dan Fogelberg, Greg Brown, and has worked with some of the greats in acoustic music. Her songwriting style and live performances display an unbreakable link between traditional music and cutting-edge contemporary songwriting. Whether in a song or on her violin, she captures our history, landscapes, and our lives in the varied music that she creates.
Kate performs her music with guitar, violin, mountain dulcimer, and harmonica, as a soloist, with a duo, trio, or up to a 6-person band. In reviews, Kate has been compared to many influential artists of her genre including Joni Mitchell, Nanci Griffith, Richard Thompson, and Emmylou Harris. Since her first recording release, her songs have been covered by Folk, Celtic, Bluegrass and roots music genres including artists such as Mollie O'Brien, Laurie Lewis, Andrew Calhoun, One Shilling Short, Loose Ties, Rose Laughlin, and many others. Something Left You Living, a song from her Blooming recording, was featured on NPR's song showcase "What's in a Song." Kate's songs have been featured on nationally syndicated radio shows including Tom May's “River City Folk,” and were sung by others on “A Prairie Home Companion.
Kate's musicianship has been featured in a number of documentaries aired on PBS stations including My Canyonlands: Kent Frost, We Sagebrush Folks, and Zion Canyon Song Cycle..
Kate was recipient of the 2018 Minnie Jane Artist-in-Resident Scholarship from Pendle Hill Quaker Study and Retreat Center, completing a three-month residency during which she composed a collection of peace-motivating and inspirational music titled A Harmonious Sound.
She has twice been Artist-in-Resident for The Entrada Institute, an environmental and arts organization based in Southern Utah. Her residence with the organization led to a large repertoire of music based on the Western desert and history.
Kate supports other artists by helping with production. Kate donated her production services and time to the 2011 U. Utah Phillips commemorative CD, Long Gone. It features Phillips’ songs, recorded by musicians in the Utah region who had been influenced by, and even had been taught music by U. Utah Phillips. The project was organized by his son Duncan Phillips who is the mastermind behind Phillips’ archives; The Long Memory Project.
Kate donated three years of volunteer service to the Innocence Project, where she united musicians for playing and performing music. Some of the musicians that she aided had spent as many as 28 years in prison, due to wrongful convictions.
Kate regularly donates her time and music to activist organizations working for peace and social justice concerns, this has included Adopt-a-Future, Pandos (Peaceful Advocates for Native Dialogue and Organizing Support), the Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and The Entrada Institute. She regularly plays for the Heart and Soul organization of Utah, an organization that brings musicians into hospitals, convalescent centers, and schools. She performs and has collaborated on recordings with musicians such as songwriter and traditional folk singer Kat Eggleston, the Cowboy, Bluegrass and Celtic music specialist Skip Gorman, composer Phillip Bimstein, and with pianist Robin Spielberg in her American Tapestry trio.
In addition to her performing, she teaches songwriting and fiddle workshops in schools, concert outreach programs, summer camps and at music festivals. She is a sought after vocalist, fiddler and guitar player, working regularly with other artists.
Discover the information through the links below...
"Despite the overly commercial and complicated world we live in, I've learned that music does make a difference in people's lives."
One of my favorite songs, that I sing to myself, is... Keep On The Sunny Side Of Life.
I highly recommend this song for everyday use.
It works especially well in the car.
This photo from the archives is of Kate MacLeod singing one of her songs with Peter Rowan and Charles Sawtelle at the Deer Valley Folk and Bluegrass Festival. Peter Rowan sang harmony on the recording Constant Emotion, and Charles Sawtelle produced two MacLeod recordings before he passed away. Charles is greatly missed for his exceptional guitar playing and his endless sense of humor.
Kate with Tim O'Brien at the OFOAM Festival, 2013
This photo from the archives is of Kate MacLeod during one of her first violin lessons, taken by her violin teacher, who was one of the first female musicians to be hired by the National Symphony in Washington, DC.