Kate’s second album, Walk Chalk Chicken, was recorded and engineered in St. Albans, West Virginia, at the studio of Jim Martin Productions. Jim is an expert at capturing the natural feel of old-time music and has recorded numerous West Virginia traditional artists.
“All I really want to say is that this CD is excellent and that if you like old time music then you really need to buy it . . .
. . . Kate is a very versatile musician and we hear her on fiddle, banjo, guitar and of course singing,all of which she does so well. Her voice has that slightly husky quality which can make sentimental songs sound more real but is perfectly suited to the more lonesome traditional one . . .
. . . Kate has managed to gather around her some of the best musicians who are currently keeping the traditions of West Virginia old time music alive . . .
. . . I don’t really know what to else to say except that I loved this CD and I think you will too and I’m off to try and learn ‘Faded Coat of Blue’! “
Friends of American Old-Time Music and Dance review
“This is the place to mention Kate Lissauer’s solo album, Walk Chalk Chicken, recorded last year in West Virginia with Dave and Tim Bing. It is an elegant album, concentrated as it is on Kate’s plaintive mountain singing and tremendous fiddling.
Kate Lissauer is a real and genuine talent – true, above all, to the spirit of mountain music.”
Charley Dunlap – Bath Chronicle 22 July 2005
“Genuine old-time country from a talented singer and fiddle player.
Old-time country music has made something of a resurgence in recent years, not just in the Appalachians, but also over here in the UK, where there are several highprofile performers who are able to play folk clubs, listening venues and bluegrass festivals. One of these is Kate Lissauer, a highly regarded exponent of old-time country music.
Now resident in the UK, Kate started her musical career playing with Rev. Chip & the Moonbrides, one of Maryland’s champion stringbands. Later she was to become an integral member of Scotland’s Caledonia Ramblers. This is Kate’s second album and was recorded in St Albans, West Virginia with the acclaimed Jim Martin, a recognised expert at capturing the natural feel of old-time music. Accompanied by such talented musicians as brothers Dave and Tim Bing (guitars, banjo, fiddle, vocals), Mark Paine (vocals), Woody Lissauer (vocals), Ginny Hawker (vocals), Johnny Whelan (banjo), and Jim Martin (bass), with Kate on vocals, banjo and fiddle, this takes you back to the very roots of country music, now long-forgotten by the Nashville country mainstream.
At times the music is slow and brooding, as on Pretty Polly, allowing Kate’s earthy vocals to shine against the simple guitar, banjo and fiddle backdrop. Then you have the driving, fiddle-led hoedowns Hop High My Lulu Gal and Shove the Pig’s Foot A Little Further in the Fire. A record which will delight old-timey fans, it should also crossover to the alt.country crowd who have latched on to the Handsome Family, the Be Good Tanyas and Freakwater.
When it comes to traditional country, WALK CHALK CHICKEN is the genuine article. Accept no inferior substitutes.”
AdC – Maverick Magazine – the new voice of country music – October 2005
“This CD is a little gem . . . both vocally and instrumentally everything is excellent . . . I would highly recommend this CD . . . “
British Bluegrass News
Kate Lissauer – Walk Chalk Chicken (Own Label)
Even though she’s now resident in the UK, singer and fiddle player Kate’s not all that often seen touring, which is a real pity, since she’s one of the most gifted exponents of oldtime country. And Walk Chalk Chicken is only her second record – the first, the excellent Ain’t No Grave, came out six or seven years ago on the enterprising Wildwood label (which seems to have gone to ground of late). Here Kate gives us a collection of affectingly simple (one could say rustic) performances of material from the very roots of country, comprising roughly two thirds songs and one third instrumental pieces. On the majority of the latter cuts Kate’s driven fiddle is accompanied by the Brothers Bing (Tim and Dave on banjo and fiddle/guitar respectively) – and boy, do they cook, especially where Kate and Dave work out together on that twin-fiddle line! Jim Martin (bass) and Johnny Whelan (banjo) also lend a hand occasionally. And with wonderful titles like Shove The Pig’s Foot A Little Further In The Fire, well you can’t help but have a real good time can you?! … But brilliant tho’ the tunes are, it’s probably the songs that make the most impact for me, and to describe some as riveting would not be exaggerating in the slightest. Kate’s earthy, mildly husky vocal timbre brings a quality of brooding, soft mournfulness to such songs as Faded Coat Of Blue, in the course of the heartfelt expression of whose lyrics Kate wrings an almost unbearable amount of emotion from the very simplest of images. Her interpretation of Son House’s County Farm Blues is extraordinarily powerful, and her version of the classic ballad Pretty Polly (another on which Kate accompanies herself on guitar) is also nigh matchless in its stark sense of tragedy. Then there’s the uptempo songs like Lincoln’s Gunboats and Down The Road, where Kate’s relish in their very singing infuses the performances with the true spirit of unpretentious down-home hoedown. If you want a good solid oldtime record with that extra layer of emotional credibility and depth, then it’s a simple decision: go for Kate straightaway.”
David Kidman March 2700 NetRhythms.co.uk