Katie Moore
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Katie Moore

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Parallèlement à ses collaborations remarquées, Katie Moore lance un deuxième album où sa voix magnifique s'élève et se déploie, occupe enfin l'avant-scène.

Katie Moore a reçu tout un cadeau de la vie, une voix en or et un instinct musical très affirmé, ce qui en a fait l’arme secrète de quelques beaux énergumènes parmi lesquels Socalled, Chilly Gonzales, Patrick Watson; la rouquine a même fait partie d’une chorale de quatre voix assemblée par Feist lors des derniers Jeux olympiques. Parallèlement à cette vie sur la route, elle mène humblement sa petite barque et lance ces jours-ci son deuxième album officiel, Montebello, sur lequel s’entend le chemin parcouru depuis Only Thing Worst (2007).

Sa fibre country/folk/bluegrass demeure, mais on a ouvert le spectre; les premières notes sont celles d’une guitare électrique, on entend le piano délié de Gonzo et même de la flûte traversière dans Heart Like a Wheel, reprise d’une chanson d’Anna McGarrigle. "Ça témoigne de mon évolution comme musicienne, reconnaît-elle, et de l’empreinte que laissent sur ma musique les musiciens que je fréquente. C’est intéressant de voir comment les gens qui m’entourent procèdent. La plupart ont étudié en musique, ce qui n’est pas mon cas, mis à part quelques leçons de piano quand j’étais petite. J’ai beaucoup appris de Warren C. Spicer (membre de Plants and Animals, réalisateur et musicien sur cet album et le précédent). Quand j’écris une chanson, je la passe ensuite dans la "Warren machine" et elle en ressort plus… musicale."

Lors de notre dernière entrevue en 2008, Katie Moore avait manifesté le désir d’écrire des textes plus engagés, moins centrés sur ses préoccupations personnelles: mission accomplie. "Le titre fait référence au sommet économique qu’il y a eu en 2007 à Montebello avec le président du Mexique, George W. Bush et Stephen Harper. Il y avait des agents provocateurs postés dans la foule pour inciter les manifestants à la violence, tu te souviens? Ça m’a mise en colère et j’ai eu envie d’écrire là-dessus. Plusieurs textes sont inspirés de bribes de conversations que j’ai eues avec des amis. J’ai essayé d’éviter les chansons d’amour… Ça a fonctionné, sauf pour la reprise d’Anna McGarrigle." Katie Moore cite d’ailleurs les soeurs McGarrigle parmi ses modèles: "Elles en ont toujours fait à leur tête, intègres et farouchement indépendantes. Leur démarche et leur trajectoire m’inspirent."

Si bien que Katie Moore, à sa façon et avec les moyens de son époque, a fondé son propre petit label (Purple Cat), et financé l’album grâce à Kickstarter, "un site Web qui aide les gens à trouver des sous pour réaliser un projet de création. Tu précises la somme que tu souhaites amasser, tu te fixes un échéancier pour y arriver, et les gens intéressés au projet peuvent faire des dons. En échange des sous investis, je leur fais des cadeaux: un téléchargement, une copie physique de tous mes disques, un laissez-passer pour mes shows en 2011, un spectacle privé, une chanson sur YouTube… J’ai même cousu des tabliers! Pour une artiste comme moi, c’est-à-dire pas très rentable, ça devient intéressant parce que tes fans aident à concrétiser le projet d’album, et deviennent en quelque sorte ta maison de disques."

Katie Moore
Montebello
(Purple Cat Records)
Parution le 1er février

À écouter si vous aimez /
Les soeurs McGarrigle, Dolly Parton, Joni Mitchell
- Voir


Katie Moore may be content to play second fiddle, but she truly shines at centre stage. Having been adrift in the local music scene for half of her life, the 34-year-old singer, songwriter and musician (born in Wetaskiwin, AB, raised in Hudson, QC) has allowed her career to be guided by “external forces,” yet every project she touches is lit by an internal flame, a talent that’s practically innate.

Her rich, angelic voice is an instrument she’s played as long as she can remember, mostly in collaboration with or in support of internationally renowned Canadian musicians. Conversely, penning her own material is a skill she’s had to hone, and has done so from a very young age.

“I remember writing songs when I was little,” she says, sitting across a Caffè Italia table. “I had a little spiral notebook and I re-wrote the lyrics to a Rod Stewart song. I remember being super emotional about it and showing it to my parents and they did not understand at all how amazing it was.”

At 12, she went on to transform Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” into “Famous Blue Toilet,” “this really stupid farce all about this toilet and my dad,” she recalls. “I don’t know what inspired that.”

In high school, Moore indulged her love of folk and country music, testing her skills with a couple of loosely assembled bands. When she moved to Montreal at 17, she played her first gigs with a band featuring her roommates, Pascal Oliver (her then-boyfriend, now a member of Valleys) and the Mirror’s own Raf Katigbak.

“We were teenagers who’d just left home and had a band and drank two-fours of Molson Ex,” she recalls. “It was rock ’n’ roll. We did some Pavement covers and we had songs that kinda sounded like Pavement or Swervedriver. I played electric guitar and sang back-up. I was not a good guitar player, so that wasn’t good for anyone.”

Being a slightly uneasy fit for Moore, the short-lived band—which went by a series of names, including the Incredible Redhead (not because of Moore’s orange locks but rather Oliver’s cherry-red dye job), RU487 and the Mighty Zentradi—was merely a stepping stone.

COUNTRY CALLIN’

It wasn’t until she started attending the Wheel Club’s old-time country Mondays and bluegrass Sundays at Barfly that she fell in with a truly like-minded lot. It was at these open-mic hoe­downs that she met Peter Hay, Randall Lawrence and Andrew Horton, with whom she formed her first ensemble, dubbed Katie Moore and the Country Gentlemen, and later Katie Moore and the Night Jars—they released a record in 2005, consisting mostly of covers.

She also met Angela Desveaux, a local country singer on the rise. In 2004, with Dara Weiss, they formed the bluegrass trio Yonder Hill, releasing a self-titled LP in 2008. (Their sophomore album will be recorded this year, following Desveaux’s maternity leave.)

Two other fateful meetings transpired in the mid-aughts: she met Warren C. Spicer and Matthew Woodley, members of the ambitious local rock band Plants and Animals. She and Spicer joined David Macleod to form a country-folk band called Timber!, who released an album, The New Gentleman’s Shuffle, in 2005. (They’re reuniting for a benefit show on Feb. 13.) She’s also played on both Plants and Animals albums, Parc Avenue and La La Land, and Spicer produced Moore’s second solo LP, Only Thing Worse, released by Borealis in 2007.

Critics were practically unanimous in their praise for the collection of tender, melancholy tunes, some of them light-hearted observational narratives, others heavy-set laments for people who’d passed. But it was her voice that attracted the most attention, drawing comparisons to Joni Mitchell, Dolly Parton and Gillian Welch.

Moore’s other fateful encounter during this period was with Josh Dolgin. They were in a cultural studies class together at McGill, and initially met because a female friend of hers developed a crush on Dolgin—sadly for her, he swings the other way. But he did take to Moore, on a professional level, interviewing her for Hour and subsequently asking her to write lyrics and sing with him for his hip hop/klezmer project, Socalled. They collaborated on “You Are Never Alone,” a song about a Jewish cowboy.

“That changed everything.”

OTHER PEOPLE’S PROPERTY

With the release of Ghettoblaster in 2007, Socalled became something of an international sensation. Moore toured widely with Socalled, from New York to Krakow. Along the way, she met Toronto-born, Berlin-based pianist, songwriter and entertainer Chilly Gonzales and, with Dolgin, Mocky (another Canadian ex-pat) and singer Matthew Flowers, became part of his band for roughly a year.

“He’s sort of a shy, reluctant singer,” says Moore, explaining Gonzales’s need for back-up. “It was really fun to see that other world of… I mean, it’s not even considered high production. I guess Peter Gabriel is high production, but for me, it was like, what?! Costumes? Planned stage banter?”

More high production was in store for Moore when she scored a gig as part of a back-up choir for Feist (through Gonzales, who cowrote a number of songs with the Canadian chanteuse) at the Vancouver Olympics, no less. In Whistler, they played an outdoor show on a rotating stage; in Vancou­ver, they played the ornate Orpheum theatre.

“It was really fun, it was intense. We did a month of rehearsals for two shows, pretty much the opposite of the usual, ‘Why don’t we rehearse at soundcheck?’ kind of vibe,” Moore reports, chuckling at her approach to playing live, which is more natural than casual.

In another departure from her comfort zone, Moore collaborated with local dance/art troupe Little Bang on a joint live performance at la Sala Rossa, as part of last summer’s Suoni per il Popo­lo festival. She wrote the music—which was similar to her sad, sultry roots stylings, with added ambient infusions—as the troupe choreographed the piece. With Spicer, Woodley, Mishka Stein and Jessica Moss, Moore accompanied the dancers incognito—the band played behind a curtain.

“It was cool to not be the focus, to be in our own little orchestra pit. I really liked that.”

FAVOURS RETURNED

That’s hardly surprising coming from such a self-effacing character, armed with an arsenal of self-deprecating jokes. But even as Moore was working on these projects, along with Patrick Wat­son’s 2009 album, Wooden Arms, she was building her own opus, a solo record called Montebello. The title track makes reference to the 2007 Summit of the Americas that took place in the small titular Quebec town, bringing together Stephen Harper, Felipe Calderon, George W. Bush, a pack of protesters and an army of security, including some undercover SQ officers who have been accused of being “agents provocateurs.”

“I feel like that incident really got swept under the rug, and of course it happened recently in Toronto again,” says Moore, who wrote the song as an open letter to the officers. “I wish I had a more romantic reason [for the title],” she says.

There is romance on the record, and sadness, and even the occasional lament, including a cover of the McGarrigle Sisters’ “Heart Like a Wheel.” But Moore challenged herself to sidestep heartbreak, an effort abetted by the relatively upbeat pacing and full, folk-rock/chamber cabaret instrumentation. Even the saddest songs are tempered by beautiful arrangements of electric and acoustic guitars, drums, piano, organ, strings and flute; the record overflows with the talent of Gonzales, Woodley, Horton, Dave Gossage, Mike O’Brien, Heather Schnarr, Joe Grass, Emma Baxter, Eric Digras and Spicer, who once again doubles as producer.

Recorded in bursts, between the Treatment Room and Hotel2Tango, Montebello was partly funded via Kickstarter.com, a site that allows artists to appeal for donations from friends, family and the general public, with dignity.

“I like the idea that people get to choose different prizes; it doesn’t really feel like begging people for money, which makes me uncomfortable,” says Moore, who’s never had much luck with government grants. Said prizes included a house concert ($500), a YouTube dedication ($150), a digital download of the album ($10), a CD ($25) and a custom-made Katie Moore apron ($35). “I was so surprised, I met my goal [$3,000] in a week! I was touched that so many people were willing to do that. It made me feel really good. But now I have to make all these aprons!”

Before running off to get her aprons printed, Moore reveals that the name of her imprint, Purple Cat, through which she is releasing Montebello this week, is based on a cartoon character favoured by her manager’s son, but not, as I suggested, Catwoman. “Actually, yes, that is exactly it,” she proposes with a wink, “a pioneering female of the comic world, because she’s stealthy and she always lands on her feet. She’s always been a muse for me.” ¦

ALBUM LAUNCH WITH CHARLOTTE CORNFIELD AT CABARET DU MILE END, THURSDAY, FEB. 3, 9 P.M., $10

Short URL: http://www.montrealmirror.com/wp/?p=18402 - Montreal Mirror


By Vish KhannaWith her heart-melting voice, Montreal's Katie Moore could rightly be compared to Emmylou Harris and Iris Dement, yet her country music is much closer to the soul, with deep grooves that make Montebello a stirring musical mélange. A critically acclaimed solo artist, Moore is also a key component of bizarre hip-hop/klezmer artist Socalled's circle of collaborators and, as such, she possesses an eclectic musical palate and a rich sense of humour. But in her folk music ventures, there is gravitas: the anthemic qualities of "Another Dollar" and "Wake Up Like This" make them calls to arms, showcasing a strong voice and perspective. Throughout, it's as though Joni Mitchell usurped Bob Dylan during the sessions for Desire, embracing the free spirit and raw emotive power of the sessions, but measuring it all with an even countenance that commands more power than any wailing might. With its allusions to loss, longing and regret, Montebello is ripe with adversity and triumph; it's an earthy, contemporary blues record made by musicians on a higher plain, showcasing the enigmatic Katie Moore as a kindred spirit to Will Oldham: a true blue artist unloading precious weight from her weary mind.

How'd you get the nice sound of Montebello down?
I did it at these two analog studios in Montreal. I love recording live because everyone's there together working on it and you get excited because the take either works or it doesn't. That's much more fun and romantic than working on a computer, where you can fix your problems. But I also think the sound is warmer; you can visualize the instruments when you listen to it ? where they are in the room. It makes the music more alive.

Did working with Socalled inform these songs?
At the heart of his music is his love of a good melody. He looks for old ones and gussies them with his beat machine. He's also an amazing piano player; I could listen to him play for hours. We work on songs differently. He has no ego about it, whereas I'd hide in a closet until I felt the world was ready for it. Songwriting is really therapeutic for me. If someone passes away and I'm really sad about it, I usually write a song and feel a lot better.
(Purple Cat) - Exclaim!


By Alex HudsonLast month, when we reported on the nominees for this year's ECHO Songwriting Prize, we noted that SOCAN's annual award often went to the underdog. This year that's Montreal songstress Katie Moore, whose song "Wake Up Like This" just came out on top.

This means that Moore wins $5,000, plus the distinction of her song being recognized as Canada's best English-language track of the past year. For the honour, she beat out Arcade Fire ("We Used to Wait"), Austa ("Feel It Break"), Handsome Furs ("When I Get Back") and PS I Love You ("2012").

The nominees were picked by a panel of music industry experts and the winner determined by a public online vote. Listen to Moore's winning song at the bottom of the page.

In a press release, Moore said, "I am really quite elated that I won the ECHO Prize! It was a surprise just to be nominated, so the win is icing on the cake, especially considering all the great songs that have been released in Canada in the past year. Thank you to everyone who voted for me -- I am really touched. I will spend all of the prize money on recording a new album and I can't wait to get started on it!"

SOCAN also handed out a French-language version of the ECHO Songwriting Prize called the Prix ÉCHO de la Chanson. This $5,000 award went to Olivier Langevin of Galaxie for the song "Piste 1."

The Polaris Music Prize-shortlisted Galaxie won out over fellow nominees Jimmy Hunt ("Ça va de Soi"), Géraldine ("...Et les Brochettes du Buffet), Jérôme Minière ("Le Vrai le Faux") and Philippe B ("Petite Leçon des Ténèbres") - Exclaim!


By Bernard Perusse, Postmedia News October 19, 2011

Katie Moore has opened for folk legends such as Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Tom Paxton and has collaborated with the likes of Feist and Socalled.

But it's on her solo second album, Montebello, where she shines the brightest. Montebello is a folk-rock stunner, in its own low-key way. And it's filled with strong melodies, insightful but spare arrangements that distinguish each song from its predecessor, and an appealing, rough-edged sound that lets the music breathe. This album could have been recorded in 1965 or yesterday. Much credit for that goes to the disc's live-in-the-studio analog sound, with instruments from one microphone bleeding organically into another, giving it a natural, timeless warmth.

That's exactly what Moore was shooting for, she said recently.

Montebello's unforced, livingroom sound makes sense when you consider one of the Alberta-born singer's earliest musical memories of the home where she and her older sister, Bridget, grew up with their parents, Peter and Geraldine. "I remember Saturdays, with Dad working around the house and playing Neil Young really loudly," Moore said.

Young's music has similarly refused, for the most part, to be bound by an era. And the rocker's work took its place with Joni Mitchell's in inspiring Moore to pick up her first guitar when she was 12. "I guess, because they're Canadian, I felt closer to them than to American and British rock stars," she said.

Old-school country legends such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers and the Louvin Brothers also went into the mix that eventually gave birth to Moore's own songs.

Rock 'n' roll? "Not really. When I was younger, at least, I found it too hard on my ears," she laughed. "I was never into super-loud music."

From her earliest shows at a club on Montreal's St. Laurent Boulevard to semi-regular Pop Montreal festival slots and an appearance with Feist at the Vancouver Olympics last year, Moore has been building up buzz.

"I'm gonna make $1 million!" she immediately shot back, deadpan, when asked about her plans for the year. (Well, here's a start: She did raise $4,500 last year from online supporters to complete Montebello, via the fundraising facilitator website Kickstarter.com -150 per cent of her goal.)

"Unless you're an overnight sensation, the momentum grows pretty slowly," she said, shifting easily into a more serious tone. "I imagine it will continue to grow slowly. I would love to just play my songs."

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/entertainment/Time+stands+still+Katie+Moore/5572544/story.html#ixzz1cl7EK7Xd
- Montreal Gazette


Discography

Sleepover, Socalled (Dare to Care Records, 2011)
Montebello, Katie Moore (Purple Cat Records, 2011)
Ivory Tower, Chilly Gonzales (Arts&Crafts, 2010) “Ivory Tower”)
Wooden Arms, Patrick Watson (Secret City Records, 2009) “Big Bird in a Small Cage”
Yonder Hill, Yonder Hill (2008) Various songs.
Parc Avenue, Plants and Animals (Secret City Records, 2008) “Mercy”,
“Faerie Dance”
Only Thing Worse, Katie Moore (Borealis, 2007)
Ghettoblaster, Socalled (Label Blue, JDub records 2007) “You are Never Alone”,
“These are the Good Old Days” featuring Fred Wesley
Close to Paradise, Patrick Watson (Secret City Records, 2006) “The Storm”
New Gentleman’s Shuffle, Timber (Ships at Night Records, 2005) Various songs
Home in Landfill Acres, Li’l Andy (2006) “Unreal Country” ¬

Photos

Bio

Katie Moore is an uncompromising songstress whose haunting music defies quick categorization; it lies somewhere in the no-man’s-land between folk, soul, bluegrass, and Americana. Built around a persuasive simplicity, each song is anchored by her voice. “I often get asked how long I have been singing for, and I don’t know how to answer that,” says Katie. “How long have you been breathing? It’s just a natural thing I do. I love it.” That much is obvious—enchanting, earthy, pure, real, open; these are some of its descriptors.

Katie casts her vocal anchor into a sea of lush and playful instrumentation. The musicians that perform and record with her include some of Montreal’s finest: Warren C. Spicer and Matthew Woodley (Plants and Animals), Josh Dolgin (Socalled), Chilly Gonzales, Joe Grass, David Payant (Silver Mt. Zion), and Mike O’Brien. She and her troupe of instrument toting friends have performed at SXSW, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Calgary Folk Festival, Hillside Music Fest, Festival de la Musique Émergente Dawson City Music Fest, and Pop Montreal.

Her collaborations swing both ways. Renowned artists have sought Katie’s natural, effortless timbre out as accompaniment. Highlights include Feist, Patrick Watson, Chilly Gonzales, Plants and Animals, and Socalled.

The debut solo recording, Only Thing Worse (Borealis, 2007), is a collection of mostly original songs produced by Warren C. Spicer. The album ties together all of Katie’s influences – from old-time country and bluegrass to folk and indie-rock. Only Thing Worse was nominated for Quebec’s GAMIQ Awards, a MIMI (Montreal Independent Music Initiative) Award, and has held a steady place on College radio charts. The original song “Rush Enough” was nominated for SOCAN’s ECHO Songwriting Prize.

Katie’s sophomore solo recording, Montebello was released February 1, 2011 on the artists own label—Purple Cat Records), after a successful Kickstarter.com campaign to raise the money to do it right. Recorded and mixed at Montreal’s Hotel2Tango and Treatment Room, Montebello layers 1970’s soul influences and lush instrumentation into Katie’s Americana/Folk sound. The single “Wake Up Like This” won the 2011 SOCAN ECHO Songwriting Prize. Montebello has been nominated for Quebec’s GAMIQ Awards for Folk/Country Album of the Year and Katie Moore has been nominated for Songwriter of the Year (winners to be announced on November 13, 2011).

Mention Katie Moore to anyone who’s heard her and he or she will likely exclaim: “The voice of an angel!” Amid the songwriting, recording, touring and collaborations, Katie Moore has a song or two coming your way.