No. 041 Americana Fantastico Shitty Barn Session: Katie Powderly
Katie Powderly was among the stunning 2011 Americana Fantastico performers. This year, she will kick off our 13 artist, multi-week, festival of Americana.
In her short musical career, Katie has shared bills with Tony Rice, Del McCoury Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, Jill Andrews, and many others, recently selling out shows with Langhorne Slim and The (Grammy nominated) David Mayfield Parade on the east coast. Her singing and harmonies have been likened to Gillian Welch (Isthmus, Madison, WI) and Gram Parsons (City Paper, Rochester, NY.) Her forthcoming album, however, marks a shift in genre for Powderly, deepening her sound from simple folk music to something described as hauntingly beautiful (Isthmus, Madison, WI) and David Lynch-y (Flying Rooster, Chapel Hill, NC) exceptional enough in quality to establish her as "one of Madison's most promising musical talents" (Isthmus, Madison, WI.)
Katie Powderly's music permeates the boundaries of genre, inhabiting a space somewhere between alt-country and folk. It transcends the confines of linear chronology, as well; it is vintage and current, nostalgic and prophetic. Respectful of tradition while remaining relevant, Powderly presents a promising musical hybrid in her painstakingly hand-hewn tunes.
It's folk noir. Her voice wraps itself around a melody and before you know it you're hooked; the songs lure you in, seep into your heart, and linger in your ear throughout the quiet of your day. Imagine the love child of Gram Parsons and Gillian Welch, reared on the Avett Brothers and Lucinda Williams. That's Katie.
The key elements of her music are her harrowingly honest lyrics sung with an almost rebellious resolve to endure in the face of immense loss. She is weary, but never weak; bewildered, but never broken; discouraged, but never defeated. There is defiance in her delivery, suggestive of an unseen strength simmering just below the surface.
Her hopefulness is at times fragile. But it is there. She might be lovelorn, but she is not lost. Not for long, anyway.
One listen is all it takes to become consumed by Powderly's songs, convinced of the depth of her conviction and captivated by her voice and its intense vulnerability. The themes in her work-loneliness and love, desperation and deliverance, rejection and redeption-resonate within all of us, so her listeners experience each one of her salted wounds and hard-won triumphs alongside her.
Shitty Barn (View)
506 E. Madison St.
Spring Green, WI 53588