Kara Alexis Young
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Kara Alexis Young

Oakland, California, United States | SELF

Oakland, California, United States | SELF
Band Folk


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




Alright, so a few weeks ago I made a not-so-stealthy call to all of my academic friends to put me on. Tried to find a video of one of the homies presenting their brilliance at a conference. Wanted a bit of a dissertation. A smidge of an abstract. Silence on the collegiate front. True to form, these friends of mine are least likely to toot their own horns. Academics are a little different than emcees it turns out.

And while today’s feature, Kara Alexis Young, is in fact pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley — while she is all kinds of intellectual — while she spends the good deal of her time teaching undergrads — she ain’t send me any of her academic materials either. Maybe, I should just go ‘head and apply to some Doctoral programs. That way I could see the work up close and personal-like — and understand that they’re probably too busy to send work to this little blog o mine.

But belligerent as ever, raised by the music of Boots Riley, I’m always pulling hustle moves. I think I was voted Most Likely to Sneak into Eastmont Mall Cinema in 1999. Which is well after our little hood theater closed. So, I’m gonna put you on to Kara Alexis Young, come hell or high water. Good thing that in addition to being an intellect, and a poet, and a healer, she’s also a musician, with a unique voice, both literally and lyrically. A phenom on acoustic guitar with a penchant for honest lines and unorthodox breaks to said line — Kara’s the truth. When I listen to her music, I feel as if it’s what happens when a Hip Hop head deals primarily in folk songs. I’m not saying that she spits like an emcee, but I will say that she’s from Ohio, and something in her delivery does have a hint of Bone Thugs to it. Like Bizzy Bone meets Fiona Apple — AND a touch of Farah Jasmine Griffin. ‘Cause Kara’s an academic, remember?

In any case, check one of her recent videos, On Repeat, here. Props to Dan Truog on cinematography. More on him once February ends. You can find more of Kara here. - Chinaka Hodge


CURRENT SET LIST (2008-2011)
"Down to the Bone"
“On Repeat”
“Dear One”
“Extra Ordinary”
“ Find A Way”
“Every Singe Day”

“Did I Mention”
“Past Inhibition”
“I am a Revolution”
“Memoirs of Driving”

“Sarah's Song”
“Memoirs of Driving”
“Holy Place”
“Combat Boots and Guitar”



Kara Alexis Young taught herself how to play the guitar at the age of 10 when she discovered her mother’s old Goya buried in the attic. Although she spent years playing covers of other people’s music, in the summer of 2001 Kara began to write her own songs, recording her first album in 2002 and her second album a year later. Since then, she has been captivating audiences across the country with her sultry yet fierce performances and lyrics to match. Her music is a unique synergy of folksy storytelling, hard-hitting grooves, and smooth melodies that perfectly blur the line between folk, soul and jazz. Now, with the help of percussionist Daniel Truog, keyboardist Shad Small, and bassist Sam Heminger, Kara is taking her music to a new level with a live show guaranteed to move you and get you moving.

Kara and her band have opened for artist Goapele and performed at such venues as:
- The Boom Boom Room (San Francisco)
- Air Lounge (Oakland)
- Chandra Cerrito Contemporary Gallery (Oakland)
- Mama Buzz (Oakland)
- John Colins Bar (San Francisco)

Band Members