Kara Kulpa
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Kara Kulpa

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2005
Solo Folk Acoustic

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Music

Press


"Kara Kulpa"

My first thought upon meeting Kara and hearing her play was, "She's a
capable musician...she should play out more." My very next thought was,
"What a great attitude...she should play out more." Kara is fun, talented,
engaging and full of energy. She has a comfortable way with her guitar and
with those around her. It's always a treat to have Kara play at Aroma, and
I look forward to hearing more from her. - Lissette Wells (Owner, Aroma Cafe)


"Any Given Day CD Review"

If Jewel (before she sold out to "The Man") decided to sing Folk songs about faith and devotion, this CD is close to what she would have sounded like. Kara Kulpa takes the medium of folk music and uses it to express her inner-most fears, hopes, and desires, and above all, her faith in God. Faith is not the only topic she tackles; the song "Letters to Sarah" describes an ongoing conversation between two friends, one on each side of 'this mortal coil.' Kara also shows a lighter side with songs such as "B-Rate Musician" and "The Capo Song," making you smile as well as touching your soul. The CD is only available through her website,T.C. Buzz Coffee Co. in Bloomington, IL, and her shows currently, but it is hoped that she will play Wake The Dead sometime very soon.
www.karakulpa.com
- The Unscene Zine


"Any Given Day CD Review"

Midwesterner Kara Kulpa showcases her mountain folk style music in her release, “Any Given Day”. It’s a long, winding road of deeply personal lyrics with an interesting combination of instruments ranging from a mandolin, pie tin, shoehorn and a mountain dulcimer. Bringing a unique experimental sound to her release, Kara’s harmonic voice brushes against a sharp edge blade that cuts through her lyrics with a hypnotic overtone. Pulling up again to address personal loss, heartache and the misunderstandings of love, Kara creates an open invitation to her listeners to join in on her traveling journey of understanding. The opening song, “Grace” quickly levitates this young soulful songstress, giving the listener an earful of purely beautiful, alto singing. She’s the queen of wanderlust with her traveling lyrics and unknown destination journey. This is the CD you want in your player while you drive down a deserted highway at 2 o’clock in the morning.

CHT Pick: " B-Rate Musician" Reviewed by Heather Corcoran - CoffeehouseTour.com


"Any Given Day CD Review"

5 out of 5 stars Excellent, unique music from a truly gifted artist

This CD rings with simple truths, lyrical confessions and questions, statements of fancy and pure wonder, all in a new and unique voice that is a welcome addition to the folk canon. Kara Kulpa finds influence from artists ranging from Natalie Merchant to Donna The Buffalo, but her voice is truly her own--quite a feat for someone at the mere age of 22. Her instrumental skills are precise and soulful; the arrangements on this disc are sparse, yet rich in their overall effect. This disc is very well-recorded and has a timeless quality, especially on the haunting "[NK 22]", the playful and visual "Tasted The Rain" and glorious "Grace" (which shows off her breathy alto to great effect). She shows her sense of whimsy, too, in "The Capo Song", which I bet you'll be singing along to tomorrow morning. If you like intelligent yet unassuming folk music, in the aesthetic range of early Leonard Cohen and Simon and Garfunkel--and just as marvelously poetic and individualistic--you would do well to purchase this CD and keep an eye on this vibrant young woman. - cdbaby.com


"Quick Quotes"

"poetic and soulful...a riotously fun time" - Nuvo Newsweekly

"intelligent yet unassuming folk music" - Reviewer, CDBaby.com

"a sensation at 2005's Midpoint Music Festival" - Cincinnati CityBeat

"unique experimental sound" - Heather Corcoran, CoffeehouseTour.com

"Kara Kulpa has a charm and personality that make you want to be her best friend, but when she picks up a guitar or fiddle you are instantly filled with admiration and maybe just a little envy." - Anthony Whitaker, House Of Abundant Kindness House Concerts

"great music and great fun...a master on the fiddle, mandolin and guitar" - Segment of Society Productions

"a prodigal like ability to pick up and play any stringed instrument" - The Daily Vidette

"This is the CD you want in your player while you drive down a deserted highway at 2 o’clock in the morning." - CoffeehouseTour.com

- various


"Kara Kulpa"

Kara Kulpa has a charm and personality that make you want to be her best friend, but when she picks up a guitar or fiddle you are instantly filled with admiration and maybe just a little envy. With a knowledge and respect for music that defy her youth, Kara brings a great energy onstage that makes the entire audience want to become a part of the music.

- Anthony Whitaker - House of Abundant Kindness


"Making A Name For Herself On The Folk Circuit"

by: Tony Sapochetti

Kara Kulpa, senior music major, may have first been influenced by music while she was still in the womb, kicking to whatever rhythm she was listening to.

"My siblings were all teenagers by the time I was born, so I think I might have been kicking to like Madonna or U2," Kulpa said.
Thus began her fascination and love for music, which began with regular violin lessons when she was six and then turned into a prodigal like ability to pick up and play any stringed instrument, including but not limiting to a guitar and mandolin, and writing her own music by the time she was 12.

Now she is making a name for herself on the folk circuit by releasing her demo EP, Any Given Day, in May of 2005. Since then, she has toured the Midwest playing as a solo act and teaming up with various other artists across the country. As of now, her growing career has landed her back at ISU where the National Women's Music Festival was being held. Kulpa said that overall, the festival, which happened to be the first one that she attended, was a fantastic experience for her.

"I absolutely loved it and the festival is great," she said. "It was a fantastic opportunity for me and I had a really good time."

Kulpa has many people that have influenced her throughout her musical career and life that range from those with celebrity status to her friends. Patty Griffin and Natalie Merchant were among those who she has always looked up to, but the friends that she tours with right now, including Dave Golden, Jeremiah Birnbaum and Shelly Miller, have also left a mark on her.

"We kind of tour in duos, play on each other's stuff and just have a grand time while doing it," she said. "They are all excellent musicians and songwriters."

When asked to actually describe the type of music that she plays, Kulpa may be a little hesitant because of the stigma that folk music may have with certain people.

"When I tell people that I play folk music, they may start to shudder," she said. "But, that's the type of music I play, acoustic and folk."

Her music may be folk, but she also has a great deal of classical training from ISU, in which she is studying music therapy. Janet Tulley, assistant to the director in the School of Music, said that Kulpa may use some of her classical training to influence her current sound.

"When I listen to her music, it's definitely more of a folk/pop/indy sound with some classical influence that she may have received here," Tulley said. "However, she does use a lot of her classical training in music therapy."

Kulpa was just a part of the four day National Women's Music Festival, which features both established and up and coming female singers and songwriters.
The festival also encourages and promotes the ideals of sisterhood and community, and offers many events such as auctions and interactive music experiences. The ideals and emotions of the festival were fully represented in the festivals finale of a large jam session featuring the dozen or so artists who appeared throughout the festival.

The opening ceremony for the jam session encouraged the audience to participate with the music as several percussion instruments were brought out for both the artists and the audience to play. This also encouraged a great deal of dancing as many of the women would get out of their seats to move to the rhythm.

The artist would then perform one song of theirs while being backed up by the many artists sharing the stage. This would often lead to several harmonies being formed and many different solos from various instruments including guitar, piano, bass guitar, harmonica, mandolin and a banjo.
The music was also quite diverse as country, blues, folk and even dramatic readings with full sound effects were performed for the audience.

Kulpa's talents were on display during this jam session as she performed her own brand of folk music while contributing her violin and mandolin skills to many of the songs. - The Daily Vidette - 7.12.06


"Midwest Music Summit, 2005"

After Travis Brant’s set I went to the Upper Room located in Broad Ripple to see Mercy Driver. That was my highlight of the summit. Mercy Driver is: Dave Golden, Shelley Miller, Kara Kulpa and Jeremiah Birnbaum. Folks..this was great music and great fun. The PA didn’t work, so Mercy Driver played walking around the place, standing on chairs, and kneeling on the floor. And what a find Kara Kupla was ! She’s all of 22 and a master on the fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. So yep…I already have her booked to come back to Indy in September ! Local Jethro Easyfields joined in on harp and a hippie named Potts played an impromptu mandolin at times. What a great way to finish off the summit. - Segment of Society


"Emotion-Driven Music"

The 2004 Midwest Music Summit gave birth to a unique four-member collaborative singer-songwriter team as a result of having jammed together at the now gone CATH Coffeehouse. New York’s Dave Golden and Jeremiah Birnbaum with Illinois’ Shelley Miller and Kara Kulpa tour as Mercy Driver.

They brought their combined poetic and soulful talents to Indianapolis for two back-to-back shows — the first of which took place last Friday night at the all-ages Harrison Center for the Arts’ Underground. Unfortunately, the new sound system for the HCA literally cracked under pressure, leading the foursome to ditch their mics and the stage and turn their concert into an intimate, audience participation rock-folky shindig. Lyrics and mood are key for these artists, so the impromptu move to the floor only enhanced their performance and engaged the dedicated audience.

As individual artists and performers, the Mercy Driver players each possess refined voices and polished musicianship. Put it all together and you’ve got emotion-driven music and, as was the case last Friday night, a riotously fun time. Visit www.jeremiahbirnbaum.com for more details and info on the quartet. Concerts in the Underground coincide with exhibition openings in the upstairs gallery and are free. - Nuvo Newsweekly (Indianapolis, IN)


"Midpoint Music Festival Promo, 2006"

When Kara Kulpa isn't out tearing up the Midwest Folk scene (she showcased last year at festivals in Indianapolis and New Orleans and was a sensation at 2005's Midpoint Music Festival), she and duo partner Dave Golden are equally effective in Chicago Folk quartet Mercy Driver. She followed her Any Given Day demo last year with the compelling Incomplete, a live disc.

Dig It: Heartfelt Folk roundtable with Patty Griffin, Natalie Merchant and Shawn Colvin. (BB) - Cincinnati CityBeat


"Emotion-Driven Music"

The 2004 Midwest Music Summit gave birth to a unique four-member collaborative singer-songwriter team as a result of having jammed together at the now gone CATH Coffeehouse. New York’s Dave Golden and Jeremiah Birnbaum with Illinois’ Shelley Miller and Kara Kulpa tour as Mercy Driver.

They brought their combined poetic and soulful talents to Indianapolis for two back-to-back shows — the first of which took place last Friday night at the all-ages Harrison Center for the Arts’ Underground. Unfortunately, the new sound system for the HCA literally cracked under pressure, leading the foursome to ditch their mics and the stage and turn their concert into an intimate, audience participation rock-folky shindig. Lyrics and mood are key for these artists, so the impromptu move to the floor only enhanced their performance and engaged the dedicated audience.

As individual artists and performers, the Mercy Driver players each possess refined voices and polished musicianship. Put it all together and you’ve got emotion-driven music and, as was the case last Friday night, a riotously fun time. Visit www.jeremiahbirnbaum.com for more details and info on the quartet. Concerts in the Underground coincide with exhibition openings in the upstairs gallery and are free. - Nuvo Newsweekly (Indianapolis, IN)


Discography

The Water's Edge (Signature Sounds Studio) - November, 2011
Incomplete (live) - November, 2005
Any Given Day (Aaron Paolucci Studio) - May, 2005

Photos

Bio

Poetic and soulful and A riotousily fun time are just a couple of ways folks have described singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Kara Kulpa. Originally hailing from the midwest, Kulpa uprooted and moved cross-country to Cambridge, MA, in the spring of 2010. In the fall of 2011, she hit the road in support of her second full-length album, The Waters Edge. Recorded at the Signature Sounds Studio under the esteemed engineering of Mark Thayer (Dave Carter and Tracy Grammar), and produced by Dave Golden (HBOs Treme/Sundance Film Festivals), this album features performances by nationally recognized artists including Richard Gates (bass), Kris Delmhorst (cello/vocals), Chris Merenda (banjo) and Brad Wentworth (percussion).

Since the release of her debut EP, Any Given Day, in May of 2005, Kulpa has toured country as a solo act as well as in conjunction with various other acts. She has shared the stage with nationally recognized artists including Rufus Wainwright, Eddie Money, Danny Schmidt and Kris Delmhorst. During the Spring of 2006, along a road which spanned from Boston to New Orleans, Kulpa collected a batch of live recordings and self-produced a mix CD entitled Incomplete. To add to her recorded collection, Kulpa has appeared on several other projects including National Geographics 2010 documentary, After The Spill: The Last Catch (guitar/violin/candolin).

As for her live show, House of Abundant Kindness House Concert Series said, Kara Kulpa has a charm and personality that make you want to be her best friend The Daily Vidette boasted her prodigal-like ability to pick up and play any stringed instrument, and Segment of Society Productions called her, a master on the fiddle, mandolin and guitar. Along with performing solo, Kulpa regularly supports an eclectic list of Boston-based and nationally-touring acts. Visit her website to see when and where shes performing next!

the music is fanasticshe is incredibly talented. Bob McKee, ClubPlanet.com

soulful songstressthe queen of wanderlustKaras harmonic voice?brushes against a sharp edge blade that cuts through her lyrics with a?hypnotic overtone. Heather Corcoran, CoffeehouseTour.com

poetic and soulfula riotously fun time Nuvo Newsweekly

a sensation at the 2005 Midpoint Music Festival Cincinnati CityBeat

excellent, unique music from a truly gifted artist Reviewer,?CDBaby.com

intelligent, yet unassuming folk music Reviewer, CDBaby.com

Band Members