too long from the sea

from the artist

I was born listening to folk music. My years at the Kerrville Folk Festival have changed me forever. I got to hear every great storyteller and player that Mainstream Music either ignored or was too dumb to recognize. This CD was written & recorded with my dearest pals and some of the best in the business. You might call it “amereclectic”.
                                                                                                    -Kate Wallace

about the artist

Kate has spent 20 or so years as a welcome member of the most respected songwriter circles in Nashville and Los Angeles. Known for her remarkable voice and songs that are full of passion and honesty, Kate has been the New Folk winner at both the Napa Folk Festival and the Sierra Folk Festival. She has been a main stage performer at the Kerrville Folk Festival since 1993, and has played most of the great clubs throughout the country such as the Bluebird Café in Nashville, the Troubadour in Los Angeles, Club Passim in Boston and Fiddler’s Green in Atlanta. Kate has produced, recorded and released three CDs: “Kate Wallace” on the Honest label (from which came three music videos that were in steady rotation); “Two Lane America” and “Too Long From the Sea” on her own New Pair O’ Dimes label. She’s had her songs recorded by famous and infamous artists alike, recorded sound tracks for major movies, been featured in two different books on songwriters, been on numerous television shows including Music City Tonight, she’s won the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Award for her song “Going Through the Emotions”, and has had the pleasure of doing back-up vocals for some of her favorite artists including Tom Kimmel, Michael Lille, Sally Barris, Dana Cooper and Tom Prasada-Rao. She lives in Santa Barbara, CA, these days, where she continues to travel & play, write, record, teach and generally experience/ pass on the joy of music in every way. She also books the popular acoustic music series, Trinity Backstage. Kate is sponsored by and happily plays ELIXIR strings. She’s presently working on her 4th CD, “Politics & Religion.”


Kate Wallace
too long from the sea

This great artist is such a close personal friend that I waited a long time to review this record. After all, how could I just write a few paragraphs about a given recording without digressing into how much I've learned from her about life, love, friendship, integrity, strength, songwriting, and a trunkful of smaller subjects? I won't even try.
    Kate's a very strong woman, and speaks her mind. Very smart, extremely funny. These qualities all abound in her songwriting, which despite her keen intelligence, is a very emotional matter.
She's gifted with a remarkable vocal range, and can do things with her voice that stand her out immediately as a special singer: dynamics, breaks, fluid movement between full and chest voice, inspired phrasing, unerring intonation, and a recognizable sound that is all her own.
    The liner notes describe the breadthy style of this record as Amereclectic. It's Contemporary Folk and more with many influences, many colors. I especially like the dark cowrite with Joseph Brunelle, "You Cross My Mind," but conversely the very bright song written with Sally Barris, "I Carry It Inside." I'm a big fan of the song that also appears on co-writer Michael Lille's record (reviewed in this issue), "Wherever You Walk."
    The disc was recorded and mixed at Samurai Studios in Nashville by Sam Weedman, who played mandolin and cowrote the signature opening number, "Brave New World." Bassist extraordinaire Mark Prentice appears again as co-producer with a host of Nashville session heavies. Along with Kate's strong rhythm playing, Michael Lille and the always sharp Steven Sheehan add great acoustic guitar tracks. Andrea Zonn on fiddle and husband John Gardner on drums and percussion bring deep musicality to any record, and certainly here. Dana Cooper blows some soulful harmonica, and nine really good singers appear throughout.
    Kate Wallace moved away from Nashville after a decade there, back to the West Coast. She plays many dates and festivals nationally, and is a fixture in the growing house concert movement. Find out more about Kate and pick up on the three records she has out at her website
-Frank Goodman,puremusic.com

Kate Wallace,
Too Long from the Sea

(New Pair O'Dimes, 2000)

On the back of the leaflet for her CD Too Long From the Sea, singer-songwriter Kate Wallace credits fellow musician Michael Camp with coming up with the perfect word to describe her music: Amer-eclectic. Indeed, the 12 songs on this CD reflect an eclectic range of styles and moods within a solid American musical and cultural context.
   In addition to Wallace's fluid vocals and guitar, an assortment of players supports her songs. John Gardner provides drums and percussion while Sam Weedman supplies additional drums, percussion and mandolin. Mark Prentice plays bass and guitar, Steven Sheehan and Michael Lille play guitar, Dana Cooper plays harmonica and Andrea Zonn provides fiddle. Background vocals are performed by Michelle Prentice, Tom Kimmel, Dana Cooper, Michael Camp, Sally Barris, Cindy Greene, Mark Prentice, Marcus Hummonm and Michael Lille. That's a pretty big complement for background, yet it is always subtle and effective.
    From the assertive and independent declarations of "Brave New World" to the longing of the title track "Too Long From the Sea," the upbeat love song "He Takes It With Him When He Goes" on through to the benediction-like closing song "Wherever You Walk," Wallace's vocals are always exactly right. Her voice is clear and rich; it retains power in the lower registers and does not thin out when it gets higher. The melodies share an infectiousness, yet the style shifts from song to song: each is distinctly different.
   Some of the songs have a melody line which contrasts sharply with the content, creating an interesting tension, such as in "Trophy Girl," where the cheery, near sing-song belies the sharp kiss off in the lyrics: "I won't let you make me callous and cold/I want to hold my head up when I'm old." At other times, the melody and lyrics mesh perfectly, as in "Losing Colorado," a song about a couple who left the state for a fast track life and want to get back what they lost before it's too late -- and they do! "We can escape these prison bars/In the time it takes to pack the car." Another is "Wild Blue" which Wallace begins a cappella with the chorus, giving it a touch of a gospel hymn.
    Wallace blends folk, pop, blues and jazz effectively into a unique and appealing style of her own. Each track has something to recommend it; each song has a story in the evocative lyrics. On Too Long From the Sea, Wallace demonstrates a versatility in performance and material which is both rare and welcome.
-by Donna Scanlon, Rambles: 9 March 2002

"Outstanding CD..intelligent, heartfelt lyrics.. an exceptional release..."
-Billboard Magazine

“Kate is a woman of conscience who sings with a vengeance”
–the rev. lisa hunt, Nashville, TN

“Kate is a woman of strength with a great deal of integrity and her music reflects her conviction. She’s also a babe.”
-Henry Paul, artist / Blackhawk

“I love Kate. I lover her music and I’ll baby-sit her dog anytime”.
-John Jennings, artist & producer / M. Chapin Carpenter

“Wallace was once a Nashville based songwriter who didn’t subscribe to the Music Row mentality of factory writing. She has a distinctive voice and style of writing that allows the songs to flow together seamlessly. Kate has a unique way of flipping into her head voice that’s somewhere between a catch and a cry, and always affecting.”
-Neil Fagan, Performing Songwriter

“This is somebody you need to pay attention to. Her songs have wonderful melodic curves and her vocal is marvelously lustrous. Seek her out- trust me, she’s a real winner.”
-Robert K. Oermann, Music Row Magazine

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