Kathy Hussey

Kathy Hussey

 Nashville, Tennessee, USA
BandFolkAcoustic

Intelligent, progressive acoustic folk music - free of cliche and unecessary introspection. Imagery and characters abound in Hussey's lyrics, with music influenced by pop, rock, folk, and bluegrass ... catchy, honest and enigmatic.

Biography

*** "The Same Mary" wins the Grand Prize in the 8th Annual Great American Song Contest ***
find out more here:
http://www.greatamericansong.com
be sure to check out the "Hall of Fame" link and click on Kathy's picture for all the details...

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Please visit
http://www.kathyhussey.com
for more samples, performance calendar,
photos, stories behind the songs, etc.

Scroll to end for list of contests,
accolades, etc...
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“Folk Medicine” – maybe that’s the best way to describe Kathy Hussey’s music. Let’s just say there’s no better elixir to counteract the occasional ills of the songwriting scene -- the preoccupied navel-gazing, the world-saving, and the love-lost-lamenting -- than a healthy dose of Kathy’s insightful and inspiring songs.

Where some cling to tired cliches, she invigorates the listener, spinning stories that are fresh and involving, and delivering them onstage with charm and abundant personality. Her songs channel others, giving voice to the abandoned dog, the child within a 90-year-old woman, the French ice cream vendor, the earth itself. She knows the important light isn’t the spotlight on the singer, but the one shed on the truth.

Kathy comes from everywhere, tapping into her four-corners-of-the-country upbringing and her self-described “wonder-lust” to turn out a wide range of compelling characters. And why not? Her own story is compelling. One of identical twins, adopted at birth. A hopscotch childhood, always the “new kid.” The high school for rodeo hopefuls. The college commune. The bartending. Every stop full of new things and people to try to figure out.

Kathy’s songs come to life, because she's immersed in it. She’s a trail guide, a horsewoman, a tie-dye teacher and a leader of songwriting workshops for kids. She connects with the things that connect us all, and the proof is in the accolades. Critical raves for her three self-released albums. Festival performance honors at Kerrville, Telluride and Suwannee. Songwriting awards from Mountain Stage Newsongs, American Songwriter Magazine, Just Plain Folks, and the Grand Prize from the 2006 Great American Song Contest for “The Same Mary.”

“Folk medicine.” Hmm, could be. Consider the evidence. Endorsed by the wisdom of the elders. Natural, with a finger on the human pulse. Stimulates the brain and examines the heart. Dispensed with care and humor, often enough on a house (concert) call.

Sure looks like the prescription from here. Whatever you want to call it, the doctor says that Kathy Hussey’s music is mighty good for what ails you.

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What does a 9-year old girl do with a guitar that she has begged for for three whole years? She endures classical guitar lessons long enough to develop strong hands, and a technical foundation. She learns all her favorite songs, lifting and dropping the needle on her record player until she gets all the chords...she beats the poor instrument with Neil Young tunes until the top brace cracks. She swabs her little fingertips with rubbing alcohol to toughen her callouses. She discovers, on her own, that to play Joni Mitchell songs, you have to re-tune, and she does it by ear. She decides right away that the way to become a better guitar player is to keep learning stuff that is way over her head, and just play it until it isn’t anymore.

At least, that’s what Kathy Hussey did. Eventually, she would be equally as consumed by writing songs – but for the first decade of her musical life, her passion was for her guitar, and for interpreting the songs of her 70’s pop radio childhood...James Taylor, CSNY, Grateful Dead, John Denver, Led Zeppelin, Elton John...not to mention country heroes Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Conlee and the like...

Born in Chicago to a family that was constantly on the move, Kathy’s guitar and her music were among the few constants in her life. In Texas, she serenaded friends on the beaches of Galveston, and around campfires at rodeos and trail rides, where she and her unruly and legendary horse, Storm, were a fixture. In Arizona, Kathy would hike miles into the desert with her guitar and some friends to sing Pink Floyd songs into the night. In Massachusetts, Kathy led her high school’s 8-piece a capela singing group, and arranged vocal parts for songs like Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A’Changin’”, and “Dedicated to the One I Love” by The Mamas and the Papas.

By the time she was in college in Upstate NY, she was a well-seasoned performer with a huge repetoire of cover songs. This landed her in several campus bands as lead singer and guitarist, covering everything from Fleetwood Mac and Heart to Steely Dan and the Grateful Dead. She was scooped up by some local musicians, who handed her a lime-green stratocaster and asked her to front The Nortons – a soon-to-be-popular rock band who, for several years, layed down the party grooves for all of NY sta

Lyrics

We Are The Day

Written By: Kathy Hussey

you are sun warm
cloud soft
clover sweet
you are bird song
grass green
and I am yours
and I am helpless
and I am free

I stretch out longer like the shadows,
the light goes golden in your eyes
we're rooted in this ground and we are sky high
we are the day going by

you are rain fresh
sky clear
still water deep
you are dream rare
earth real
and I am yours
and I am helpless
and I am free

I stretch out longer like the shadows
the light goes golden in your eyes
we're rooted in this ground and we are sky high
we are the day going by

we are morning and twilight
we are darkness and highlight
we are silence and thunder
we are moments of wonder
the sun moving through the sky
we are the day going by

© 2003 rakukat music bmi, all rights reserved

Maybe Tomorrow

Written By: Kathy Hussey

August heat
And I can’t bear
Your wooly scarf still hanging there
Tartan green
By the slammed door
All the things you left behind that’s just two more
And it seems like yesterday

Maybe tomorrow
I’ll get around to it someday
Maybe tomorrow
I’ll sweep these scraps of you away
Maybe tomorrow
But not today

I don’t go
Near our old room
Sealed it up like a pharoah’s tomb
To stir the dust
Could tempt a curse
Remember or forget, I can’t tell which is worse
And it still seems like yesterday

Maybe tomorrow
I’ll get around to it someday
Maybe tomorrow
I’ll sweep these scraps of you away
Maybe tomorrow
But not today

I could find the time
There’s just too much to undo
And this mess is all that I have left of you

Maybe tomorrow...

The Same Mary

Written By: Kathy Hussey

I’m over here in the corner
At yet another family affair
It’s strange to be the old relic
Propped in this rocking chair
The kids are all frightened of me
They only come with Mom’s hand at their back
It’s okay
There’s no way
They could know that...

I’m the same Mary
Who once was her Daddy’s little girl
I’m the same Mary
The pillow fight champion of the world
Catcher of lightning bugs,
Bull frogs and garden slugs
Climber of sky-tall trees
I’m the same Mary

They raise their voices at me
So I’m sure to hear what they say
Usually some pearl of wisdom like
“Are you feeling okay?”
Young men rush to my rescue
When I show signs of wanting to stand
I don’t need it yet, but I accept
Cause they don’t understand

That I’m the same Mary
Who danced ‘til they threw us out at dawn
I’m the same Mary
Who played tackle football on the front lawn
Fixer of broken joys,
Mother of four strong boys
Coach, and referee
I’m the same Mary

But then he comes in the room
Not just a tired old man, but the love of my life
And I’m saved by his wink at my cranky ways
Cause I know that in his eyes
I’m the same...
shy little thing in pearls
prettiest of all the girls
just like the day he met me

I’m the same Mary
It’s just me...
The same Mary

This Water

Written By: Kathy Hussey

(note: this is an example of one of Kathy's songs that would appeal to those looking for performers for events with an outdoor or environmental focus)

[vocal enters at :40sec]

This Water

This water puts food on the table
This water's like ice in my hands
This water means that I am able
To coax green from a dry brown land
This water runs from the mountains
This water runs through my veins
This water provided for many
Who came long before you and your personal gains

CHORUS:
This water is blood
This water is years
This water's the ghost of my ancestors' tears
This water is hope
This water is frail
This water is life
And it's not for sale

This water makes the adobe
You fashion palaces from
This water's been a possession
Only since you and your money have come
This water has always been plenty
This water has sprouted each seed
But this water's never seen anything
That compares with your
Thirst or your greed

CH

Bridge:
And my life's not some romantic notion
And it's hard as a tooth or a nail
Working this land is not a past I need rescuing from

CH

© 2003 RakuKat Music BMI, All Rights Reserved

One More Safe Night

Written By: Kathy Hussey

I chose the color of this room
To match the comfort of this feeling
We chose this pillow and this chair
Where we fit warm and tight
And watch the firelight
Dance on the ceiling

This is our nest
Where cares come to rest
And our hearts pad ‘round barefoot inside of our chests
Where nothing can touch us but soft morning light
Through the breakfast-time window
After one more safe night
One more safe night

Our story lives in all these things
These tokens of our common memory
There’s comfort in our souvenirs
Faces in frames
With smiles that don’t change
Bless all that we do here

This is our nest
Where cares come to rest
And our hearts pad ‘round barefoot inside of our chests
Where nothing can touch us but soft morning light
Through the breakfast-time window
After one more safe night
One more safe night

Now we lay us down to sleep
And pray the lord our home to keep
For one more safe night
One more safe night...

©2009 rakukat music, bmi, all rights reserved

from the 2009 release "Natural Habitat"

Red Maple

Written By: Kathy Hussey

Red Maple
by kathy hussey

I don’t now how long it stood at the corner of that lawn
But all these years I’ve lived nearby
Straight to it I am drawn
I drive friends by, so they can see
That perfect specimen of tree
In all it’s majesty

It's a red maple, strong and tall
and round as a playground ball
Strawberry, pumpkin, ladybug leaves in fall
Autumn color, cold winter fade,
Green in spring and summer shade
No finer tree was ever made
Than that red maple, red maple, red maple tree

That tree was shelter for a house
Where generations grew
With a knee-high rock wall 'round the yard
And flowers poking through
The boards, a weathered, dusty plum
A porch to catch the morning sun
A home when day is done

And that red maple, strong and tall
and round as a playground ball
Strawberry, pumpkin, ladybug leaves in fall
Autumn color, cold winter fade,
Green in spring and summer shade
No finer tree was ever made
Than that red maple, red maple, red maple tree

Now that house has changed hands
And new hands wanna change everything
So they put up a privacy fence
And grey vinyl siding

I don’t know how long it stood at the corner of that lawn
But I walked by there just today, and that maple tree was gone
I could smell the fresh cut wood
A stump where once she proudly stood
Simple sweet and good

That red maple, strong and tall
and round as a playground ball
Strawberry, pumpkin, ladybug leaves in fall
Autumn color, cold winter fade,
Green in spring and summer shade
No finer tree was ever made
Than that red maple, red maple, red maple tree

©2009 rakukatmusic, bmi, all rights reserved

From My Point of View

Written By: Kathy Hussey and Discovery Camp Kids 2003

(co-written and performed with 9-10 year-old campers at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp 2003)

From My Point of View

I don’t know what’s happening here
It used to be far
Now war is so near
Do other kids feel the way I do?
American like me,
Iraqi like you...

From my point of view
It doesn’t make sense
We’re not that different
What are we against?
From my point of view
I have a father and a mother
a sister and a brother
how about you?
From my point of view

Smoke in the air
My home is the street
No water to drink
No shoes on my feet
Do all kids live in fear like I do?
Iraqi like me,
American like you...

From my point of view
It doesn’t make sense
We’re not that different
What are we against?
From my point of view
I have a father and a mother
a sister and a brother
how about you?
From my point of view

I don’t think it’s your fault
I know it’s not mine
I just wish that we could live in a simpler time

From my point of view
It doesn’t make sense
We’re not that different
What are we against?
From my point of view
I have a father and a mother
a sister and a brother
how about you?
From my point of view

Come a Rain

Written By: Kathy Hussey

Come A Rain

It will blow in from a direction
It will happen on a day of the week
It will come through while we're working
It will wait til we're asleep
It will scour every surface
It will cause something to rust
It will find the lowest purchase
It will settle this dust
It will come

Come a rain
Come a rain fall down
Come a rain fall down on this ground
Come a rain
Come a rain fall down
Come a rain fall down on this town

It will batter every rooftop
It will find its way through some
It will crush this morning's flower
It will help a new one come
It will make somebody hurry
It will undo someone's plan
It will cause a mom to worry
It will fortify the land
It will come

Come a rain
Come a rain fall down
Come a rain fall down on this ground
Come a rain
Come a rain fall down
Come a rain fall down on this town

And it'll never be just enough
For one too little, for another too much
Sometimes it starves, sometimes it feeds
While some rejoice and others grieve
But come it will

Come a rain
Come a rain fall down
Come a rain fall down on this ground
Come a rain
Come a rain fall down
Come a rain fall down on this town
Come a rain fall down on this ground

©2010 rakukat music, bmi, all rights reserved

Texas

Written By: Kathy Hussey

Texas

Texas left me years after I had gone
Packed up my memories and snuck off somewhere
And I guess it left a hole that was filled by the song
I just heard Jerry Jeff sing, and it put me right there

And lord it’s been a long, long time
Since I cried my heart out
In three-quarter time

So I’m not gonna latch my window
And I’ll throw wide the door
Cause all these feelings comin’ round again
That’s just Texas creepin’ back in
That’s just Texas creepin’ back in

We first kissed on a Simonton Saturday
Night rodeo, when we were fifteen
Drinkin’ warm Lone Star beer, and dancin the night away
He held me til the band finished “Goodnight Irene”

Houston’s much more than mere miles from here
And he hasn’t crossed my mind for years

And I thought that I’d moved on forever
And there was nothin left under my skin
Then I find myself singin Faded Love now and then
That’s just Texas creepin back in

So I’m not gonna latch the window
I’ll throw wide the door
Cause all these feelins comin round again
That’s just Texas creepin’ back in
That’s just Texas creepin’ back in
That’s just Texas...

©2010 rakukat music, bmi, all rights reserved

Discography

If Wishes Were Horses (1998)
Stranger Than Fiction (2002)
Moments of Wonder (2005)
Natural Habitat (2010)

Set List

Kathy can, and does, play sets and shows of any length, either all original, or a mix of original and covers.

Some artists covered:
Patti Griffin
Jonatha Brooke
Shawn Colvin
Maura O'Connell
James Taylor
Del Amitri
Grateful Dead
Marc Cohn
Bonnie Raitt
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
and many others...