Kate Maki Tours w/Great Lake Swimmers


Howe Gelb-approved
songbird continues to wow the press, and the rest of us…


By Fred Mills




Northern Ontario’s
Kate Maki and her band will be opening for the Great Lake Swimmers on their North American spring tour which
begins TONIGHT in Seattle.


Her third album, On High, was released in February 2008 to great press
as well as extensive NPR coverage. Since it’s been over a year since the dang
thing came out, let’s just revisit what one, er, astute critic for Harp magazine had to say about it in



Kate Maki

On High

(Ow Om)



While you might expect
a Canadian songbird to migrate south to escape the frigid Arctic breeze of
winter, in the case of Ontario’s
Kate Maki she beckoned the warmth northward. That would be Howe Gelb, who
arrived bearing desert sunshine and multi-instrumental savvy; Maki guested on
Gelb’s 2005 album Sno’
Angel Like You so for her third solo album he returned the favor by serving as producer and record
label patron.


Along with several of
Maki’s longtime collaborators, the pair serves up an eclectic buffet of
old-time folk/blues and country-rock (the twang-shuffle of “Blue Morning” will
make your a.m. anything but) that’s at time very Giant Sand-like in its
idiosyncrasies without sacrificing one whit of Maki’s distinctive personality.
Her sweetly unaffected, breathy warble suggest hints of Lucinda Williams, Madeline
Peyroux and even buzzstress Feist, and when she shares the mic with Gelb-notably
on “Don’t Look Down,” a mostly acoustic number haunted by the ghost of Neil
Young-a hard-to-quantify chemistry begins to bubble. Standout tracks: “Blue Morning,” “White Noise” (Fred Mills)



Wow, that was an EXCELLENT review! Give that writer a raise.



On to some
background and p.r. hype, courtesy Maki’s handlers. Luckily, in her case, it’s
all true…. Oh, and be watching the BLURT site for a feature on the Great Lake
Swimmers, coming later this week…



Co-produced with legendary Tucson,
Arizona phenomenon Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), the album was recorded by
Dave Draves (Julie Doiron) at Little Bullhorn Studios in Ottawa, Ontario over a
period of five days in March 2007, and features Howe on piano and guitar, Dave
on optigan and organ, Dale Murray
(Hayden) on pedal steel and
guitar, and Nathan Lawr (Royal City) on drums. Kate and Howe
met at a show in Toronto, Ontario in 2004 where the young singer made a lasting
impression on the desert rocker, very much like M Ward (Gelb released Ward’s
debut in 2000) did some years back, and Gelb eventually signed Maki to his
label, OWOM. Gelb says of Maki,
“Kate’s a hardy country type of pioneer woman. Her guitar pickin rhythm is
like a drum, and she can belt out, even when she is quiet, like a storm. Her
music carries its own necessity of illuminating and her songs represent what
the Canadians have, a real natural beauty of writing tunes that feel like a
friend you’ve never met, but that you’ve known forever.”

Kate’s debut Confusion Unlimited
and follow-up The Sun Will Find Us
were both recognized as “Album of the Year” at the Northern
Ontario Music & Film Awards in 2004 and 2005. She has appeared
on the cover of such notable publications as NOW, XPRESS, and ECHO, placed original tracks in recent
films Weirdsville
and Wilby
Wonderful, and shared the stage with Hayden, Tegan & Sara,
Giant Sand, and Jason Collett. When Kate is not on
tour, she teaches Science, French and Special Education in her hometown of Sudbury, Ontario,
Canada. Fans
can expect a new album to surface before the end of 2009.



Tour Dates:



Tuesday, March 31 –
Seattle, WA: The Tractor Tavern
Wednesday, April 1 – Portland, OR: Doug Fir
Friday, April 3 – San Francisco, CA: Bottom of the Hill
Saturday, April 4 – Los Angeles, CA: Spaceland
Sunday, April 5 – Tucson, AZ: Plush
Tuesday, April 7 – Austin, TX: Stubbs Bar-B-Q
Wednesday, April 8 – Denton, TX: Hailey’s
Friday, April 10 – Atlanta, GA: The Earl
Saturday, April 11 – Asheville, NC: Grey Eagle Tavern
Monday, April 13 – Charlottesville, VA: Gravity Lounge
Tuesday, April 14 – Washington, DC: Black Cat
Wednesday, April 15 – Philadelphia, PA: Johnny Brenda’s
Thursday, April 16 – Northampton, MA: Iron Horse Music Hall
Friday, April 17 – New York City, NY: The Bowery Ballroom
Saturday, April 18 – Cambridge, MA: The Brattle Theater
Monday, April 20 – Newport, KY: The Southgate House
Tuesday, April 21 – Chicago, IL: Schubas
Wednesday, April 22 – Minneapolis, MN: 7th Street Entry
Thursday, April 23 – Madison, WI: High Noon Saloon



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