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Kate MacLeod


Upcoming! In 2013 Kate MacLeod will release a recording featuring a collection of her original songs inspired by books. This project was recorded in concert at Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City, UT on August 4, 2012. 

Sing Out! Magazine says Kate "channels the spirit of the great Carter Family classics," while Kate has been compared to many influential artists of her genre including Joni Mitchell, Nanci Griffith, Richard Thompson and Emmylou Harris. 
 Voted in her region by the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association as "Best Songwriter" and "Best Fiddler" in 2011, she transcends boundaries and borders, both regionally and musically. 

Kate MacLeod's highly acclaimed songs often precede her as other artists sing her songs on stages across the country. Kate is a prolific songwriter who captures the complexity of human experience in understated form. Kate's debut recording, produced by the legendary bluegrass guitarist Charles Sawtelle, was released in 1995 on Waterbug Records. Since then, her songs have been covered by other artists from California to the Czech Republic in folk, bluegrass and roots music genres including artists such as Mollie O'BrienLaurie Lewis and Rose Laughlin. Her latest solo recording was produced by Grammy-winning musician Tim O'Brien from which the song "Something Left You Living" was featured on NPR's syndicated song showcase "What's in a Song." 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. Her fiddle playing is derived from the study of many traditional folk styles in addition to classical training from where she has developed a unique expression with the instrument.
For a full list of workshop and teaching opportunities with Kate, send a request for information by email to

Kate composes classic American music. Her songs are biographical, historical, complex and humanistic. Having grown up on the outskirts of Washington D.C, then residing in the western region of Utah for decades, home of rich folklore, the roaming grounds of Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch and the land from where Utah Phillips took his name, she also spends what little spare time she has in the northwest corner of our country near Seattle. Her slow western migration has fueled her appreciation and understanding of the American experience. Her songwriting style and live performances display an unbreakable link between traditional music and cutting-edge contemporary songwriting. Her collection of original songs includes a spectrum of material; from thoughtful songs of love and the human experience, to songs based on books, on philosophical questions or about folk legends. By request, she has written music based on historic events and personalities. She has been hailed as one of the “Ten Acts to Watch” by the editors of the MusicHound Folk Essential Album Guide. Her music has been described by reviewers as reflecting the panoramic western landscape, perhaps due to her long residence in Utah. Kate's songs have been featured on nationally syndicated radio shows including Tom May's “River City Folk,” the holiday program hosted by Judy Collins, “Peace on Earth,” and have been sung by others on “A Prairie Home Companion.” You will find fans of many music genres in an audience gathered to hear Kate MacLeod perform. Her songs catch the ears of new artists, traditional singers, bluegrass musicians, celtic musicians and songwriters of many styles. Her songs find new life through other musicians at jam sessions and performances throughout the country and have been recorded by artists from California to the Czech Republic.

In 2012, you can hear exactly what experience and maturity can bring to an artist. After raising a family, instead of packing it in, or losing an edge, Kate now creates some of her best music, and is still growing. Twenty-somethings are singing her songs and audiences are beginning to catch on to the versatility of her repertoire. Recently, Kate was producer for the state of Utah-based Utah Phillips Tribute CD recording--a dream come true for Kate. Released in 2011 was the second Kate MacLeod and Kat Eggleston duo recording, Lost and Found, now available through Waterbug Records. This duo recording was chosen as a featured recording on stations such as Celtic Radio, Iowa Public Radio and Rich Warren's the Midnight Special in Chicago, IL. Kate and Kat Eggleston also worked together as co-producers for Seattle-based musician Rose Laughlin's 2011release, House of Memory. Kate has a busy performance schedule including guest appearances with the song-cycle performance group Red Rock Rondo, and with pianist Robin Spielberg's American Tapestery. 

Her latest solo recording, Blooming, will "rock your world" in one way or another. Kate went to Nashville, TN to record this project with Tim O'Brien as producer, David Ferguson as engineer, and musicians Darrell Scott, Byron House, and Kenny Malone. The outcome is a culmination of her love and experience with the styles of American music that she has been performing most of her life. On this recording you will hear twelve songs expressed in shades of country, folk, bluegrass, folk-rock, pop, art-song and sounds of modern Americana music held together in a project that is full of personality and ease. With the help and inspiration of the musicians she was working with, Kate gave her all on this recording. Blooming is distributed by Waterbug Records.

Kate is experienced at adapting her performances to the needs of the particular venue and audience. She has released five studio recordings, three on Waterbug Records, and two on Wind River/Folk Era. She has performed for the First Lady, in concert with speaker Jane Goodall and in a variety of special events. In addition to her national performances, Kate MacLeod is lead singer in the Emmy Award-winning PBS television production, Red Rock Rondo, that was debuted in May of 2009 as part of the 100th-year anniversary celebration of Zion National Park. When not on tour Kate performs with other Utah-based music groups such as The KlezBros featuring Klezmer and Romanian gypsy music and the Celtic music group Shanahy. Also look for recordings that Kate has produced, such as Anke Summerhill's recordings, The Roots Run Deep and Shine on Through. 


   Kate's own words...

     It has taken most of my life for me to settle into being a professional musician. When I am interviewed it can be difficult for me to describe the actual turn of events in my life that led me to this. All of my time with music has been interspersed with other activities such as schooling, raising a family, investigating other careers and sorting out the vagaries of human existence. Was it that I longed to be a musician when I begged for a violin at the age of six? What was the effect of my first music teacher's spell cast on me when she leaned over the music stand, her crazy shock of pure white hair bouncing, telling me that I may try to do other things in my life, but that I will first and always be a musician?

     Becoming a full-time musician is a more recent mark on my life's time line. As I worked in other areas of life, none of that work seemed to be able to displace the time that I spent on music. I would eventually put work aside if it interfered with music. I've tended to my children and watched them grow up. 
I've been performing with various musicians and music groups for many years and have learned an incalculable amount of music from many cultures. Since I was a teenager I've written songs. I've lost track of many of them. Music groups in my region began singing my songs before I recorded any of them myself. I created my first recording because I knew that my local radio station would play it, for they featured me as guest performer many times, singing my original songs. Since then, things have grown at a grass-roots pace and I am happy to travel anywhere to play music. I've had to learn how to perform on stage, as it is a different skill than making the music sound. Most of all, 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 almost every day is...
 Keep On The Sunny Side Of Life.  I highly recommend this song for everday use. It works especially well in the car. 


Lost and Found --  Waterbug Records WBG100, 2011                         
Kate MacLeod and Kat Eggleston, duo recording

Blooming --  Waterbug Records WBG0089, 2009                               
Kate MacLeod songs, produced by Tim O'Brien

Breakfast -- Waterbug Records WBG0063, 2005
with backing band: the Pancakes

Drawn from the Well -- Wind River Records WR4023CD, 2002
Kate MacLeod and Kat Eggleston, duo recording

Feel the Earth Spin -- Wind River Records WR4020CD, 2001
solo recording

Constant Emotion -- Waterbug Records WBG0032, 1997

Trying to Get It Right -- Waterbug Records WBG0017, 1995

A Fair Land Lies Before Me -- Waterbug Records CMS012, 2004
with Utah-based Celtic band, Shanahy (bandmember and producer)

Far Away -- Waterbug Records SKP103, 1999 
with Utah-based Celtic band, Shanahy (bandmember and producer)

Trip to Ballymena -- 1995
with Utah-based Celtic band, Shanahy (bandmember)

Memorial Day -- sampler, Waterbug Records WBG0029, 1996
(two of Kate's songs unavailable elsewhere)