Gig Seeker Pro



Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"All Music Guide"

A quick glance at the cover of Kathleen Williamson’s The Sacred Spud lends a clue to what’s on her mind: the spud is shaped like a heart. The lead track, “Lookin’ for a Saviour,” is an easy rolling song that evokes a number of early seventies songsmiths, Sandy Denny, for instance, on “Sandy.” Hal Rugg’s pedal steel adds a country tinge, while the vocal harmony inserts an ethereal feel. “Shake the Demon” has a similar laid-back feel, with Williamson unfurling a story of love gone wrong. The song, at six minutes, is rather long, but it works thanks to Williamson’s relaxed delivery and, as with “Lookin’ for a Saviour,” the addition of Lisa Otey’s background vocals. There’s also a clever, upbeat travelogue titled “American Dream” with a nice arrangement of electric guitar, steel, piano, and accordion. These songs, however, are just one of The Sacred Spud’s many approaches. There are folk songs, like “Good Ole’ Fashioned UnAmericana,” a tribute to being unfashionable and non-commercial, and “My Hometown,” a contemporary protest song. There are also a number of blues, including “Don’t Make a Scene, Kathleen” and “Brother Can You Spare Ten Bucks.” Williamson has crafted several fine songs on The Sacred Spud, highlighted by tasteful arrangements and a solid production, and the album should appeal to those who appreciate eclectic singer-songwriters.
Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Music Guide

RE: Album - love is best of all
...Her ability as a writer and the overall intelligence of pieces like "I Can See a New View" will convince many to keep listening... Love Is Best of All will also appeal to singer/songwriter aficionados bored by the typical product. ~
Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Music Guide

- Ronnie D. Lankford Jr.


TAMMIES 2003 -
(Tucson Area Music Awards)

& runner up best vocalist

- Tucson Weekly

"Sing Out!"

SING OUT! MAGAZINE FALL 03--"Combining world mysticism, soul, and jazz, Kathleen Williamson brings a new relevance to the word "eclectic." The title track harks back to George Harrison's sitar-tinged work; 'Secret Song' recalls Astrud Gilberto; and 'Big Deal Small Talk' combines funky guitar and rap. Love may be best of all, but genre hopping is lots of fun, too."

- Sing Out! Magazine

"Tucson Lifestyle Magazine"

Reviewer: Scott Barker, Tucson Lifestyle, March 2003
It's easy to run out of superlatives trying to describe Kathleen Williamson. She's as smart as a room full of Nobel Laureates, has a sly sense of humor, and is an uncommonly talented musician/singer/songwriter. She also loves to stretch her boundaries, which is one of the things that makes her new CD -- Love is Best of All (Owl's Nest Productions) -- so much fun. Williamson moves effortlessly between song styles on this album, working in genres as diverse as smooth jazz ("Secret Song"), Eastern ("Love is Best of All"), country ("The Stars Draw Near"), and gently rockin' blues ("I Didn't Know What I Was In For"). Her core band includes pianist/vocalist Lisa Otey, drummer Jon Westfall, and bassist Ed Friedland. They're joined by everyone from Pete Fine on sitar to the Tucson Symphony Orchestra String Quartet to Hurricane Carla Brownlee on flute and sax. The disc was recorded, engineered and mastered by the multitalented Jim Brady, and the cool portrait photos are by Deb Whalen.

- Reviewer: Scott Barker

"Gene Armstrong"

Listening to the combination of folk, country, pop, jazz, novelty and blues, listeners may feel that they are stuck in the corner of a comfy pub with the coolest jukebox in town. Better still is that many of Kathleen Williamson’s songs, which frankly are too sophisticated and complex to become Top 40 hits, take on new and deeper meaning on repeated listening… This impeccably crafted work explores in beautiful symbolism… restrained, awe-filled Americana. Beautiful, warm melodies make the perfect couch for Williamson’s dusky alto. Love is Best of All is a triumph for Williamson. Gene Armstrong, writer for Tucson Weekly - writer for Tucson Weekly

"Radio Carcoma, Madrid"

Como reza el título "Love is best of all"(el amor es lo mejor de todo), en tiempos de distorsión social lo mejor es refugiarse en el amor. Kathleen nos ofrece un repertorio que va desde las influencias de George Harrison hasta el rap, pasando por el blues,country, hot-jazz y la canción lenta. Especialmente destacable la canción "I can See The New View"
(merecedora de cualquier tipo de premio) que nos anima a reconstruir un mundo que se derrumba. Canciones para reir, llorar, soñar y bailar, con una estupenda producción y acompañada de grandes músicos interpretando un repertorio elaborado por Kathleen que recoge la evolución del mundo de la música en USA en las últimas décadas. Comprar el cd y tendréis un compendio de estilos musicales fabulosamente interpretados por una mujer que lleva la música en las venas. Santos Suárez, DJ at Radio Carcoma 107.9 FM, Madrid - Santos Suárez, DJ at Radio Carcoma 107.9 FM, Madrid

"ZicaZic E-zine, France"

Reviewer: Fred DELFORGE, ZicaZic E-zine, France
Difficile de faire bref quand on parle de Kathleen Williamson tant la dame force le respect … Avant tout, parce qu'elle est une des rares américaines à manger des escargots et à les aimer, mais surtout parce que c'est une formidable chanteuse qui laisse passer une foule d'émotion dans ses compositions. Aux côtés de l'artiste, on retrouve la fabuleuse Lisa Otey au piano, John Westfall à la batterie et Ed Friedland à la basse mais aussi une foule d'intervenants ponctuels. Enregistré et mixé à Tucson, Arizona, par Lisa Otey et Kathleen Williamson elle-même, " Love is the best of all " se veut une ode à la diversité des genres, faisant la part belle tant au blues et au jazz qu'à la musique orientale … Un exemple de musiques du monde un tantinet différent de ce qu'on a l'habitude de rencontrer au détour de nos platines. _Les connotations asiatiques du titre générique de l'album combleront d'entrée de jeu les amateurs de sonorités chaudes et subtiles. Les fans de morceaux langoureux et poignants craqueront à l'écoute de " I can see the new view ", " Didn't know what I was in for " ou " An hour to Maggie " tandis que les fondus de prouesses linguistiques s'extasieront au son des " Big deal small talk " et autres " Jazz fiesta show ". Il y en a pour tout le monde chez Kathleen Williamson et on assiste même à de fabuleux passages de blues rap ou à des envolées dignes des chevauchées épiques du far west … Les racines irlandaises de la chanteuse font régulièrement surface et une chose est certaine, on a pas fini de chercher à s'approprier l'album en cherchant si tout compte fait s'il ne serait pas plus jazz que blues ou plus celte que folk. Et si tout le monde s'accordait le plus simplement du monde à voir en " Love is the best of all " un excellent album tous styles confondus ? Fred DELFORGE - 21 Decembre 2002,

- Reviewer: Fred DELFORGE

"Flagstaff Live"

Blending music from around the world
Reviewer: Melesa Hamer - Flagstaff Live
Hints of Eastern Music lull the listener into a hypnotically groovy trance. Old-school blues remind you of a smoky backroom jazz club where Duke Ellington might once have sung. Subtle hints of hip-hop get you shaking to the beat. What performer could hit all these different styles and blend them so seamlessly together? Kathleen Williamson. It is a complex background of influences and styles which lends Williamson’s set list such amazing diversity. Williamson’s style is so broad across the spectrum of genres there’s bound to be something everyone loves. Her new CD, “Love is Best of All,” features 10 incredible originals. It reflects her vast world experiences and eclectic musical expressions. - Melesa Hamer

"TAMMIES 2006"

Kathleen Won the 2006 TAMMIES Best Songwriter, Best New Release, Best Folk


Making a Scene

Kathleen Williamson battles evil-doers with a 'Sacred Spud'


First, you should know that the sacred-heart-shaped potato on the cover of Kathleen Williamson's The Sacred Spud (Owl's Nest) is no joke.
Amateur art-photographer Williamson was inspired to make a series of reverent photos of the tuber after she found it, just like that, in an ordinary potato sack upon returning to Tucson from a trip to Ireland in 1996. She'd almost forgotten about that art project when it occurred to her that the image was the perfect bundle for a collection of songs she'd written about, as touted on her Web site, taking back "God, country ... (and country music!) from the evil-doers."

The Sacred Spud gathers and focuses her organic attack on the machines that dominate American culture. From the New York home which she has repaired to practice arts and entertainment law (and follow women's basketball at Madison Square Garden), she says, "Corporate Christianity is handmaiden to the military-industrial complex. ... It's a culture-creating machine: the generation of branding, the whole star-celebrity generation, where you have an artificial investment in advertising, a virtual creation in an identity such as celebrity or branding, but there isn't any substance anymore."

You may respond: "Oh, ick. A soapbox! I'd rather watch Celebrity Poker Showdown on the TiVo."

Point made, and taken, because for all of that, The Sacred Spud is also humorous (especially in the character development and plot twist of "She Was Playing Texas Hold 'Em"), self-effacing (as in "Don't Make a Scene, Kathleen," a warning perpetually falling on deaf ears) and ultimately oddly comforting. Williamson's empathy for her characters, cornered as they are by pop culture, is more than generous, and her "American Dream" actually celebrates the United States in terms of the diversity that she believes thrives here, especially in Tucson, as nowhere else in the world. Her set closer, "Thankful Way to Be," resolves her rage against the machine with a personal commitment to truth, simplicity and community.

"This is a post-Sept. 11 world," she notes, "and a lot of people today, of many different (generations), really are looking for a safe place, and where can we find a safe place when both the power structures and the anti-power structures are decentralized? Corporations are the power structures in the world now. That's the dominant paradigm, the new theology, the new governance."

She addresses that dilemma explicitly in "Lookin' for a Savior," a track which also features brilliant pedal steel highlights by the late Hal Rugg, a frequent collaborator.

"It reflects where my soul is today," she says. "It's a new world, looking for a safe and green and blue place to be, trying to open up to chance a little bit. It's a political perspective to say: I'm gonna find my religion deep inside of me. I'm gonna find my own personal religion instead of looking to some kind of corporate or structured religion."

Williamson considers that each Sacred Spud song is "someplace on a political spectrum," even the almost psychedelic "Diosa," a half-dream on a long night road, and "Keep It Faithful," which at first blush seems like a simple affirmation of commitment to a relationship.

"I think when you get into any integrity in any aspect of your life, you're starting to make a political choice, too," she says.

Sacred Spud's melodies and arrangements buttress Williamson's messages with identifiably American sounds. She concedes that her 2003 release, Love Is Best of All, was all over the globe stylistically. Because Sacred Spud's songs are about the state of America, she says, "This one, I tightened down more into an alt-country blues genre. It was really a conscious decision."

- Tucson Weekly

"Gene Armstrong's Review of the Sacred Spud/Kathleen Williamson"

Rhythm & Views - "The Sacred Spud" by Kathleen Williamson By GENE ARMSTRONG. (02-02-2006) TUCSON WEEKLY
With her heart divided between the honky tonk and the juke joint, Kathleen Williamson sure can be a character.
"Don't Make a Scene, Kathleen" is a basic blues progression--not unlike Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy"--on top of which Williamson sings about herself in a wonderful, sassy tale of her lifetime proclivity to individualism and the tendency of those around her to squelch her fire.
That's just one of the charming and nonformulaic cuts on Williamson's latest CD, which seems to split its time between gentle, country-style lopes and bluesy rambles, aided and abetted by an all-star lineup of Tucson musicians, including Hal Rugg, Ed DeLucia, Lisa Otey and Ralph Gilmore.
Williamson is best when she defies convention and allows her subtle insights to infiltrate the listeners' consciousness. This is best illustrated when she realizes in "Looking for a Saviour" that the only person who's going to save her is herself, and on the hyper-drive folk of "Good Ole' Fashioned UnAmericana," in which she posits, "If Woody Guthrie were alive today / He wouldn't join your expensive nonprofit music organization."
Two-stepping nirvana is available in the tongue-in-cheek "She Was Playing Texas Hold 'Em," in which the protagonist loses a love to card-playing lust. In fact, much of The Sacred Spud is devoted to being alone. "Mean Mean Road" is about the curse and gift of getting by on one's own.
After the sometimes-wrenching journey, the closing track, the joyous gospel of "Thankful Way to Be," embraces the joy of being comfortable in one's own skin.
- Tucson Weekly


1983 – Kathleen Williamson. Irish Queen Live in Tokyo, Irish Queen Productions™. Cassette. Out of Print

1986 – Kathleen Williamson. Prototype for an Album, Irish Queen Productions™. Cassette. Out of Print

1987 – Kathleen Williamson. The Joy of Gigging, Irish Queen Productions®. Cassette. Out of Print.

2002 – Kathleen Williamson. love is best of all. Owl’s Nest Productions®. 2003 TAMMIES Best CD.

2005 – Kathleen Williamson. The Sacred Spud. Owl’s Nest Productions®.


1994 – Lisa Otey. Blame It On My Youth. CD. Owl’s Nest Productions®.
1996 – Lisa Otey. Blue Angel. CD. Owl’s Nest Productions®.
1997 – Lisa Otey. Kitten on the Keys. CD. Owl’s Nest Productions®.
1999 – Lisa Otey. Gimme Some a Yo’ Sugar. CD. Owl’s Nest Productions®.
2001 – Lisa Otey. Hard Workin’ Woman. CD. Owl’s Nest Productions®.
2002 – Kathleen Williamson & Lisa Otey Duo appear on the 91.3 FM KXCI and TKMA Tucson Folk Festival Highlights.
2004 – Lisa Otey & the Desert Divas. Viva La Diva! DVD and CD. Owl’s Nest Productions®.
2004 – Kathleen Williamson. 91.3 KXCI Presents One Song at a Time. Foundation for Creative Broadcasting.
2005 – Melanie Morrison. On the Inside. Owl’s Nest Productions.
2005 – Lullabies for New Beginnings. Compilation of Tucson Women Musicians non-profit CD for New Beginnings for Women and Children. Exec. Producer Nancy McCallion. Engineered by Duncan Hudson.


Feeling a bit camera shy