Kate Mann
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Kate Mann

Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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"Top 5 Picks"

“Devil’s Rope, (Kate Mann’s) second album, shows her confidence growing, her sound toughening, and her future brightening.�

~Marty Hughley - Oregonian A&E

"Live Show Preview"

"...In the middle spot is mournful, soulful balladeer Kate Mann, whose stunning debut CD “November Songs� is filled with Kate’s art house, slightly European-sounding creations. These bare bones, moody songs are augmented by a string bass that is sometimes bowed, adding greatly to the atmosphere: one that is smoky, sensual and yet intellectual."

Andre Haggastadt, Beach Connection - Beach Connection

""November Songs" CD Review"

“November songs is a solid debut CD for Kate Mann. The spare but beautiful instrumentation is subsumed by her vocal style to draw attention to the earnest, pointed lyrics sung in a powerful yet fragile voice. On songs like “Good Girl”, her voice is smooth as silk, but on most it trembles with barely in-check passion. Mann is not to serious that she can’t show her playful side, though, as on “Random Observations” with lyrics drawn from childrens’ nursery rhymes.”

Mel Goldsipe - GoGirlsMusic.com

""November Songs" CD Review"

“...some songs have been very economically arranged and others have a much richer, deeper sound. The CD has a variety of interesting pieces to offer with varying themes. Some are simply splendid, full of fire and passion, and they show that Kate Mann sparkles with self-confidence. Especially fans of PJ Harvey and Gillian Welch should listen to this CD. It's a debut of a very sophisticated, rare singer-songwriter.” - Rootstime Online Magazine, Belgium

"Devil's Rope"

The days of Johnny Cash are long gone, along with the candle he put to the darkened face of Americana. Not the same Americana that one might come across scanning the radio dial; not the sexy tractors, honky tonk badonkadonks or achy breaky hearts. We’re talking passed out in the back of an El Camino with a bottle of whiskey, just before sunrise, hoping to God that the police don’t pick you up at the border. Real Americana. It’s easy to see Kate Mann writing “Devil’s Rope” in a situation like this one or on the top of a desert plateau gazing off into the endless wastelands of the Southwest.

The Portland, Oregon songstress’ story is the type you hear about from old hippies, but never actually witness a person go through. Once a high school teacher, Mann cast aside proletariat chains of teaching and picked up her mother’s old ’63 steel acoustic guitar in 2005, and began a life of writing music and wandering around the Pacific North West, from coffee houses to dive bars. She’s proclaimed herself “desert gypsy rock,” and if this sound is what gypsies rock out to, sign me up for a summer of vagabonding across the American deserts!

Mann rocks like a hardened and more experienced Martha Wainwright, as if she would unload a mouthful of hard liquor on your face before letting loose a fist of fiery woman fury, instead of just threatening to do it. She’s bad ass and looking at her promo photos only confirms this notion. But beneath the outer shell resides a woman of insecurities and heartache. She covers the whole emotional spectrum with “Devil’s Rope.” On “Cowboys Are My Weakness,” she admits, well, womanizing cowboys are her weakness, and she excises her parental demons with “Thank You Note” as she lackadaisically lulls on about acceptance.

A lot of the lyrics are compelling and interesting, but nothing you couldn’t find on a Fiona Apple record. “Devil’s Rope” is more about how she says it and sings it… Her style is genuine. Her vocals paint woeful visions of commonplace characters and situations that seem familiar but have underlying realities to them, like a Norman Rockwell painting of sorts.

It’s an all around addictive record and I’m looking forward to spending some time with it. Admittedly, any woman who can belt out, “whiskey is my poison/that way I don’t have to think about it” with the candor Kate Mann does, is a woman after my own heart. [By: Dan Brian] - Wonkavision Magazine

"Sizzling Platter of the Week 12/12/07"

Kate Mann — Devil's Rope (Orange Dress) :: Kate's got a back tat that's the size of Oregon and a voice that's twice as big. Armed with a guitar and harp, she cranks out a chicken-wired wall of country rock that'll have your toes tappin' while you watch out for flying beer bottles. - Metrotimes - Detroit's Weekly Alternative

"Kate Mann CD Release Party"

Kate Mann is a convincing songwriter, and her delivery - a clean, confessional whisper with a hint of new country vibrato - stays on message. Her latest effort, "Things Look Different When the Sun Goes Down," is sparse and gentle enough for the coffee shop crowds, but structurally solid enough (with a band that includes Wipers' drummer Sam Henry and Portland cellist Skip von Kuske) to warrant more than a passing listen from the rest of us.

~Casey Jarman - Willamette Week

"Kate Mann - Up and Coming"

Kate Mann's voice struts out of your speakers like a Southern belle dancing in the alleyways of a Nashville ghetto; her sway and cadence sashays over a decidedly Red-Stated influence, making songs like "Robert Johnson Knew" hot, even in the cold Northwest. Mann's new album, "Things Look Different When the Sun Goes Down," splashes Pollock speckles of torn struggles, never musically relenting on the huch that most days have their fair share of speed bumps. The songs do manage to remain hopeful, however, thanks to the power of Mann's poetic verses and the mystical bliss of deep cello on songs like "Needles and Pins," or with accordion on the Spanish-sung "La Llorona." So it seems the sun also rises on Kate Mann's horizon; thankfully, we're there to see it.

~Ryan J. Prado - Portland Mercury

"Local Live Music - Kate Mann"

Kate Mann's third solo album is full of the kind of rich, graceful folk that spreads warmth through your body like a big mug of hot chocolate on a chilly winter day. Mann's voice has a depth and soul that instantly grabs your attention, and it works especially well on slightly ominous numbers. Haunting and memorable, it's also irresistible.

~Barbara Mitchell - Portland Tribune

"Kate Mann"

Kate Mann is much more than a pretty face with an acoustic guitar. She is an artist in every sense of the word, and her music speaks volumes way beyond her years. The New Mexico native's style was shaped by her surroundings of endless skies and vast deserts, giving her a Southwestern disposition that is a little bit treacherous. Affected by such artists as PJ Harvey, Townes Van Zandt and Tom Waits, Mann possesses a gritty and somewhat jagged sound as she enlists unusual chord progressions to accompany her gruff vocals. While she writes with abstract metaphors that could be construed as idiosyncratic, her messages come across compellingly clear. Since her arrival to the West Coast a decade ago, Mann has become one of Portland's most recognizable talents, winning audiences throughout the entire Northwest. Mann's debut disc, November Songs, was released last year. This first outing was recorded live in the studio in a single weekend, and it shows - I mean that in a good way though. The disc captures Mann raw and exposed. The minimalism of each song is refreshing as she takes you on a dark journey to the corner of her soul.

- Tony Engelhart - Weekly Volcano


"Devil's Rope," 2007
"November Songs", 2005



Kate Mann’s songs take you on a southwestern journey of the nighttime world with snapshots of love lost and dangerous encounters. Kate grew up at the foot of the Sandia mountains in New Mexico, and the texture of the desert subtly sculpts her music. A deeply resonant, unique vocal quality, atypical chord progressions, and compelling and intelligent lyrics combine to conjure comparisons as varied as PJ Harvey, Lucinda Williams, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave.

A former high school teacher, Kate had an awakening of sorts in 2005 and dedicated herself to music full time. She traded in her car for a van, fixed up her mother’s old 1963 Gibson acoustic, and started touring the Western United States. Her unique brand of moody Americana has been cultivating a loyal local fan base, and she is continuing the trend regionally. Her song “Cowboys are my Weakness” was recently selected as a finalist in the Americana category of the Independent Music Awards, and she received some national airplay for selections off her most recent album. Kate has also been winning fans in Europe, where her first album has gotten airplay and positive reviews.

“Devil’s Rope,” Kate’s second album, was recorded at 8-Ball Studio in Portland and coproduced by Kate and studio owner Rob Stroup. The album, distributed by Burnside Distribution, takes the songwriter into new territory. Whereas Mann’s debut, the 2005 release “November Songs,” was a sparse acoustic recording, “Devil’s Rope” surrounds Mann’s dusky voice and acoustic guitar with aggressive slide guitar and harmonica, rumbling drums, and accordion and classical guitar sounds that conjure images of gypsy caravans. Recording for the artist’s third album will begin in January 2008.