Her influences are Lucinda Williams, Lisa Germano, and Emmylou Harris and on her debut album Faith to Fall San Francisco’s Kate Burkart has done them proud. I’ve been listening to this album for a while now and after the second time through I said “Hey this woman writes some great songs! As I listened last night I realized that this album wasn’t about the music even though producer Jerry Becker (Train) brought in some of the best musicians in the San Francisco area to play on the album. No even though the instrumentation includes an array of vintage acoustic and electric guitars, Wurlitzer and Hammond keyboards, Mellotron, cello, pedal steel and Taurus bass pedals, this album is not about the picking, it’s about Kate’s songwriting and Kate’s vocals! Kate’s music is rooted in the Americana, country, folk and singer-songwriter genres and her songs explore themes of love, faith and loss. I enjoy Kate’s voice and the music backs up and adds to the songs rather than overpowering them and that’s the way Kate designed it! This is what she says about what she tried to accomplish:
“I wanted the words at the forefront, and to create the feeling that I’m right next to your ear”
I think she accomplished that and more! Anyway the tracks that stood out for me were two of the more Americana sounding tracks “The Most” and “State of Grace” From “The Most” I love these lyrics:
But why is that when you want me the most?
Am I prettier after I’ve cried,
My hand’s on the door, I just wish I were sure,
What waits on the other side
I also enjoyed “Shades of Gray” and “Faith to Fall” From “Faith to Fall”
You know that feeling,
Stretch your arms out wide,
senses reeling across the great divide
Won’t hold you in place,
there’s nothing there but space.
Two of the more interesting tracks on the album are “Cross the Street” with some interesting rhythms and the British-inflected baroque song “Parallel Universe”
So if you like good Americana songwriting coupled some good vocals with a nice mix of instrumentation, head over to CDBaby.com or Amazon.com on May 25th and check out the album. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!