|Dimensions||14 × 12.5 × 1 cm|
A former French scholar and children’s party fairy, Kate Rowe is an award-winning singer-songwriter from the Blue Mountains in NSW. Enjoyed by all ages, Kate’s songs range from laugh-out-loud funny to moving and reflective. Kate has the startling ability to make mundane things appear charged with significance or to make the fantastic seem perfectly plausible. Her first album “The Simplest of Things” was described as “fresh and delightful” by Capital News magazine and won a BluFM89.1 Award in 2007. She won a Lennon Award in the 2009 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for the children’s version of her song “Space Rabbits of Brocklevoons”, and was shortlisted twice in the 2009 ASA Awards. She has toured Australia, and was the opening act for The Spooky Men’s Chorale on their 2009 UK tour. She launched her second album “Nature’s Little Game” in July 2010.
“Nature’s Little Game” is Kate Rowe’s second album, showcasing her strong talent for songwriting. The album is a warm, acoustic tapestry of thoughts and ideas, conveyed in Kate’s gentle style and suitable for the whole family. Kate is accompanied beautifully by an array of talented Sydney musicians including Brett Hirst on double bass, Paul Cutland on clarinet and Phil Slater on trumpet. Songs include the hilarious “Song for Frank”, an ode to a blind date Kate never got to meet, and the compelling “Dusty Room”, a powerful testament to female friendship. The album also features an acoustic version of the award-winning festival favourite “Space Rabbits of Brocklevoons”.
TRACKLIST FOR “NATURE’S LITTLE GAME”
1. Coffee My Lover 2. Deep Blue Sea 3. Song for Frank 4. Circus Song 5. Dusty Room 6. The Tent 7. The First Run Through 8. If Only You Knew 9. Dragon Orchid (How David Attenborough Saved My Love Life) 10. Lover Come Closer 11. Space Rabbits of Brocklevoons (acoustic version)
Kate Rowe – Nature’s Little Game
Lauren Lee Williams – Union of Romantic Fools
CD reviews by Warren Fahey
These two new recordings are both from the same stable, although miles apart geographically.
Lauren Lee is from Victoria and Kate from the Blue Mountains of NSW.
Both are singer songwriters or, better still, songwriters who sing their own songs.
This area of the folk revival seems to be an industry in itself and I often wonder how they get their songs heard.
Song-writing, whilst personally satisfying when you get it right, is also very frustrating when you want feedback.
I suspect most Australian songwriters write for the love of the craft rather than with stars in their eyes.
This, of course, is a good thing and stars often fall.
Packaging your songs up in a CD is obviously one step in getting heard.
In equal place, if not first, is getting out there – wherever ‘there’ is.
Ask any folk festival artistic director about singer songwriters and they will usually glaze over because they dominate the ‘in tray’ for performer applications every year.
Many are ‘sound alike’, often encouraged by family and friends who, obviously, believe them to be the best of the best.
Far better to hone your craft, get out there and sing your songs as widely as possible.
Let the songs speak for themselves.
Both these artists are good songwriters and really decent singers.
Both have good solid musicians backing their music.
Lauren’s tends to bring in country, bluegrass and a bit of Cajun and Kate has a more introspective folk rock feel to carry her songs.
I probably enjoyed Lauren’s rawer salute-to-country sound and I was interested to learn that her grandfather was Don Williams and her grandmother played mandolin in his Hillbilly Harmonists.
Despite Kate’s lovely CD package there is nothing to tell of who she is and why she writes and sings songs, a common problem with self-produced albums, but how could anyone not smile in hearing Kate’s whimsically titled song, ‘Dragon Orchid (How David Attenborough Saved My Love Life).
If anything I found Kate’s songs a little bit too wordy – something that she can obviously work on to make her music even more effective.
Australia produces some excellent singer songwriters – keep your ears open.
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