Katrina Kadoski
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Katrina Kadoski

Sooke, British Columbia, Canada

Sooke, British Columbia, Canada
Band Folk Acoustic

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"Honeygirl Band Preview 2003"

Ingrid Paulsen
News Group staff

Katrina Kadoski spent many years with musical projects dancing in her head. She's played in Victoria, building off years of training performing in musicals and showcasing her voice, but until a sweet meeting that seemed a long time coming, Kadoski was destined to keep searching for her musical collaborators.
Kadoski met Velle Huscroft before any of the other band members were found to make Honeygirl. She had seen Huscroft sing and play fiddle and listed her as a potential partner to help move her music forward. Kadoski put together a package to try and entice Huscroft with her songs, but before Huscroft even had a chance to read the musical lines, coincidence spurred their friendship forward.
"My friend had literally just handed her the package and she was opening it when I saw her and went up to introduce myself," Kadoski recalls. The serendipitous timing convinced Huscroft and the two became fast friends taking off on a duo tour of Europe a few months later.
Kadoski was born in Fort McMurray Alberta where she won the Rotary Music Festival's Best Alberta vocalist at age nine. She moved to Victoria in 1991. Huscroft grew up in Creston and was fiddle champ there at 12-years-old. The two agreed they were looking for multi-instrumentalists to form their vision, but when they placed an ad it went unanswered. Things might have looked bleak, but proving the adage of right place at right time, they soon found Megan Boddy, Skye Dumond, Shelly Okepnak, each bringing a horde of instruments — guitar, fiddle bass, djembe, kit drums, piano and madolin — and song ideas.
"It doesn't feel like anyone is the sole creative source. We all participate and it is a different dynamic to feed off," explains Boddy who plays keyboards, among other instruments, for the group.
Boddy and Kadoski chat about what Honeygirl has become, noting for each of them by bringing together five women their own musical leanings have expanded.
"I never considered myself a solo singer," says Boddy. "Singing harmonies is all about listening, but singing solo is about your craft as a singer. (Honeygirl) is about being pushed to things you wouldn't normally do," she says.
"Honeygirl has helped you find your voice," says Kadoski, expecting Boddy's giggle in reply.
Boddy says she tended to play more alternative music before joining the band, while Kadoski was heading down the pop singer/songwriter route. But having such a large combination of instruments and backgrounds, Honeygirl found folk was the genre large enough to incorporate them all.
"Working as a group also helps to make you stop focusing on yourself and how you feel," says Boddy.
"Yeah, the whining singer/songwriter doesn't work anymore," adds Kadoski.
Honeygirl will play at Lucky Bar with opening act Jenny Allen (from Calgary) July 22 at 9 p.m. Cover is $5 at the door. For more information call 382 -LUCK
- Victoria News 2003


"Questions & Answers with Katrina"


The first time I met Katrina, she didn't seem to be the person I had pictured after listening to her album, 'Whirlpools'. She's a petite woman, which belies her strong, confident singing voice. Her singing style is professional (but notl to the point of impersonal) and unapologetic.
I had the privilege of checking out one of Katrina's performances at Steamers. She performed solo for the first few songs, just her and her acoustic guitar. The atmosphere moved from noisy to slightly subdued, and responded well to the intimate show. After a short performance, Katrina brought her band
on to liven things up. They were practiced, together, and seemed to have gotten used to each other's style's enough to be able to improvise a bit and enjoy the performance as much as the audience was. Most, if not all, of her songs drew directly on personal experience - more specifically, her family. She started off the show with a song for her mother, another for her grandmother, and to complete the package, one about herself. Katrina's ability to unabashedly sing about her frustration, pain, happiness, sorrow and admiration was something the listener can feel privileged to hear. Katrina and her band came through with an awesome, energetic show.


When did you begin making music?
I got my first guitar at the age of seven, but didn't really take to it. I wanted then to play the piano more. I sold the guitar in a garage sale around the age of nine. I started writing songs around the age of fourteen, and got my first piano when I was fifteen. I was really into singing - I did musical theater when I was in Fort MacMurray, playing Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, and I was in Annie twice.

You have a very well-developed voice. Did you do any musical training, or has it progressed naturally?
I was in quite a few choirs in school and received a lot of my training through musical programs and choir instructors. When I was 16, I took jazz vocal training, along with opera technique training. It made me realize I had to change my outlook on singing.

It seems that your album acts as a progressive storyline as opposed to separate themes for each song. Was that intentional, or did it just fall together that way?
The running theme of the album is whirlpools, which is the idea that there are these invisible accumulations of life all around us. They're hard to notice, until you're enveloped in them.

Which do you think is the more important outlet for your music - a CD or a live performance?
That's a hard choice to make - I like doing both. I think playing coffee shops and little places is good, but it's better to record. That way, if someone likes my music, they can buy it and have it to play whenever they want, as opposed to having to track me down for performances.


You write your own songs, with the exception of a few. Is this the way you like to do things, or in other words, do you feel it's important to create the body of the music yourself?
It's just what I do - I'm a songwriter. It's just this nice present that I got one day and don't want to let go of. Creating music is a natural thing for me, and I feel like I would blow up if I didn't do it. It's like I go outside of myself while I'm writing a song, and it helps me balance my life. If I think up a chord structure, I'll keep it for when I come home angry or frustrated, and then I'll sit down and record something. Sometimes I think that maybe I have something to say that could benefit others, but mostly I just do it to stay balanced.

You seem to draw on personal experiences to write your songs, as many musicians do. How do you feel about being public with these experiences and memories?
Sometimes I'll keep a song to myself for that reason, but most of the time I just think about how we're all here, and everybody knows what it's like to go through all these human things. The ability to communicate is very human. It's nice to know that someone can listen to a song and realize that someone else is there, too. These things happen, like breathing. - Cityview Magazine 2001


"Out of the Whirlpool - December 2000"

If a glance at singer-songwriter Katrina Kadoski's album cover reveals a face unmarked by the passage of pain and passion, if in lending your ears to her music you can still hear a trace of the toddler who was found by her mom making up little songs in the crib, if in perusing her lyrics you find childlike references to stars in eyes and afternoon skies, well, if these things lead you to conclude that Katrina has never been bereaved of light, that is a compliment to the fact that this young performer has her head screwed on right. Her gentle, airy music borrows tastes from the buffets of pop, country, and folk, and serves the mix at a coffee shop smack dab in the center of the highway, far away from the dark edges of the back roads she could have ended up on if she'd allowed herself to be spun that way by life's whirlpool.

"I figure positive thinking is better than worrying yourself into some kind of disease", the soft-spoken 22-year-old states with the confidence of someone who's test driven life both ways - being up and being down - and opted for the former as a matter of habit. "That's just the way I've chosen to keep myself happy and comfortable in my life, because I am all the time happy and comfortable as a general thing. There has been a lot of little things along the way, a lot of stuff happened in my mid-teens, that I feel I grew up at 14, and started focusing myself towards what I wanted to do, focusing myself towards the whole music thing."

At first, she doesn't volunteer what these little things were that helped her grow up, but when she reveals them, it turns out her version of little things, like her music, is slightly understated.
"My parents separated when I was twelve, there was a lot of struggling and poverty, and I went to live with my grandparents, and in a camper and in emergency housing. We moved 11 times one year." And just as you mentally concede that that's a tough road, but worse things could happen, she continues.
"There were a few other things. My brother died. My parents were hating each other. Then I had an older sister who was given up for adoption at birth who showed up one day. It was weird because I lost a brother and all of a sudden I had an older sister. It was profound."

Katrina used the turmoil as a lens, as something to help her focus and grow. Her independent CD, "Whirlpools", was released in November, and with the four other musicians who comprise her band, she has visions of touring North America and Europe, playing festivals, and finding distribution for her music. Even a gig in a coffee house where people don't clap or where they talk through her set becomes a positive experience for the singer.
"When I play a gig by myself it's like I'm more there for myself than my audience. If I sing a note well or play a chord beautifully, it's for me and my friends. It's kind of like a golf game, where you're always watching yourself to improve."

- Fast Forward Magazine Mary-Lynn McEwen calgary Alberta


"Pioneer Ballads and Cougar Annie Tales"

The legendary Cougar Annie (see www.boatbasin.org) will be brought to life on Friday, January 29th at the Gabriola Coffeehouse (see event time, place, price) as Katrina Kadoski brings her original songs, stories and pictures of the person and place to us.

As caretaker at Cougar Annie’s Garden, in its spectacular setting of coastal rainforest in Clayoquot Sound, Katrina has in some ways inhabited the persona of Cougar Annie since she arrived there almost 3 years ago. She has connected with the land in a reflective way to Annie, and has a personal experience to what it might have felt like to be a young woman, in a remote place, with all the work, in all kinds of weather. Her show will provide a deeper sense of both the land and the pioneers who lived there.

The stories of Cougar Annie, who survived in the wilderness by her wily ways, having arrived on these forbidding shores almost 100 years ago, have been the subject of a huge repository of folklore. Katrina has drawn upon many sources as she composed her more than 30 songs and narrative about this colourful character and her unconventional life.

Having won a Rotary Music youth vocalist scholarship at age 9, Katrina has since become a skilled guitarist, songwriter, and has studied piano and banjo to accompany many years of vocal training, which include jazz, musical theater and opera. Her voice has been described as powerful, sweet, and unapologetic. Her debut CD of original songs, Whirlpools, was recorded in Calgary, AB and released independently in 1998. She has since performed in Canada, the USA, Ireland, and England.

Katrina is also working toward producing a recording of the songs on CD entitled Pioneer ballads and Cougar Annie’s tales.

Cougar Annie’s Garden is now owned by the charitable organization, Boat Basin Foundation. The Foundation works to maintain the heritage site where Annie eked out an existence for herself and her family, and stewards the surrounding 117 acres of remote west coast forest that has become the site of an educational retreat facility.

As well as drawing from her more than 30 original songs on this topic, Katrina will show a series of slides, both new and old, of the area, accompanied by narrative drawn from her considerable research on the area and Cougar Annie.

For more about Katrina, see her website at katrinakadoski.com, or her myspace page.

Event details: Location: Agi Hall. The evening’s schedule: 6:30 pm: set-up and jam. 7:00 pm: open stage. 9-10pm: feature. Admission is $5.00.

Tags: Agi Hall, Cougar Annie, Gabriola Coffehouse, Katrina Kadoski

Filed in music - Gabriola News - Events- January 2010


"Pioneer Ballads and Cougar Annie Tales - Review"

I wake up every morning to UVic's campus radio station, which plays folk music in the mornings and offers hot tips on local talent when I'm lucid enough to remember them.

The other day Katrina Kadoski and Hugh Fisher came on the radio to sing some songs and promote the projects they are working on.

Katrina's current project stems from her work with the Boat Basin Foundation, where she learned about the life of Cougar Annie, a pioneer woman who lived and worked on remote lands north of Tofino. As the caretaker of Cougar Annie's Garden, Katrina was inspired to write songs about Cougar Annie's life and the landscape out of which the legends surrounding her grew.

Hugh has been working with Katrina to support her songs musically, and is also preparing for his own CD release. They played their first of several shows together last night at the Orange Hall.

Hugh opened the night with a short set of his own material. He played a mix of songs and instrumentals, showcasing his talents on guitar and harmonica. His voice is soft, smokey and very compelling. His song Lost Lovers opened with the lyrics "If I fall asleep I will dream of you; If I dream of you my heart will break". They seem thin to write them out on the screen, but something in their delivery drew me right in. Perhaps Hugh just has a way with hypotheticals: in Lazy Day he sang about doing nothing at all, and moved me with the lyrics "If a girl comes by, I won't look [...] If the earth quakes I won't get shook".

Next was a set of Cougar Annie songs played by Katrina with backup from Hugh and a percussionist. Katrina introduced the story of Cougar Annie. Long before older women were called cougars for a different reason, Cougar Annie got her nickname for allegedly shooting over 80 cougars to protect her family and livestock. A slideshow played behind the musicians showing both historical and contemporary photos of the garden, Annie and her family.

The opening song, Remittance Man, was the highlight of the set. It was followed by several more songs about Willie Rae-Arthur, Annie's first husband who drove her to take her family to the wild in the first place with his persistent opium addiction and alcoholism. The peotry of Annie and Willie's story was brought into focus by Katrina's stunning voice. Although the sound was maybe too beautiful and clean to represent the harshness of pioneer life, Katrina really did give life to the spirit of Cougar Annie through her song.

After a short break the musicians returned for a final set, which was for me even more captivating than the last. With each song we learned another part of Annie's story and watched as her character took shape in front of us. Katrina began a song about rowing to Tofino a cappella, using the face of her banjo and her feet as percussion. As the song moved to discuss the impact of the introduction of moterboats to the area, the song picked up speed as well with the full band jumping in to support the growing energy.

Rainforest George introduced us to three of the George's in Annie life: Her father, her second husband (who shared their age in addition to their name) and her fourth husband, who ended up being driven away by Annie at gun point. The other George's in Annie's life, a son and a duck, haven't found their way into the song, yet.

The use of the photos to compliment the music was most effective for me during Do What You Have To. (Ironically, I noticed from the folder labels that the photos shown during this song were not those intended by the artist). The song told us about Annie's son Tommy, who was her only companion and help for years when children had fled the nest and husbands were dead or gone. Tommy, who suffered an injury which had him in a coma for some time, was compelled to stay on the farm under threat that leaving would see him end up in a mental institution. The words, "If I keep you in the garden, I won't lose another son" were overlaid with images of the beautiful flowers that are currently in the garden, a reminder that in spite of the harshness of pioneer life there was a beauty there that could hold someone for a while.

The set ended appropriately with a tribute to Annie's claim to fame: a wild toe-tapping number that takes us along with Annie as she shoots cougars by the dozens with her .33 and strings 'em up in The Skinning Tree. Katrina wielded her guitar like a loaded gun and even blew smoke off the barrel to finish off the night.

It was an incredible evening of storytelling, folklore and song. It just doesn't get any better than a small acoustic show where musicians pour their hearts out for you and invite you into the passion and energy of their work. And how often do you go to shows where the headlining musician personally bakes cookies and serves them with tea to the audience during the break?
- Words about Music - Jacqueline Ronson -Blogspot


Discography

Demo 2006
Honeygirl 4 song demo 2003
Whirlpools 1998

Photos

Bio

Growing up in Fort McMurray Alberta Katrina joined as many performance oriented opportunities as possible including musical plays, choirs, and voice competitions. She has since become a skilled guitarist, songwriter, and studied piano and banjo to accompany many years of vocal training, which include jazz, musical theatre and opera. Her voice has been described as powerful, sweet, and unapologetic.
Her debut CD of original songs, “Whirlpools”, was recorded in Calgary, AB and released in 1998. She has since performed in Canada, the USA, Ireland, and England. In 2002 she formed, fronted, recorded, and toured with the all female band Honeygirl. The band performed at music festivals, clubs, pubs, folk houses, TV and radio shows and fundraisers. Katrina has also toured with roots/country singer songwriter Allen Dobb www.allendobb.com, and sang backing vocals on his album “Rosetown”. Katrina rounded out her musical sensitivities working as a publicist/promoter/CSR for Pacific Music and Canada Disc www.pacificmusic.net in Victoria, BC from 2001 - 2007

In May 2007 Katrina took a caretaker job at Cougar Annie's garden, A.K.A. Boat Basin on maps
a landlocked historical pioneer homestead site, off the grid, 33 miles north of Tofino.
Over three years of living in a little cabin in the middle of the garden, and working on site, Katrina wrote over 30 songs. She was inspired by the garden, the people, and stories of the place. She has referenced memories from people who came to those remote reaches in the days that Ada Annie's (AKA cougar Annie )family fought to survive there, spoken to the family, researched in archives, and also looked to Margaret Horsfield's award winning book entitled “Cougar Annie's Garden”.

"The Pioneer Ballads and Cougar Annie song series, was a different avenue for me to write from. Previously I focused my song-writing on my own emotions, philosophies, and life events. Interpreting her story through all my senses over a few years while onsite, was a profound experience."

Katrina's one woman show, includes songs, narrative, and shows old photographs about the iconic west coast pioneer who became known as Cougar Annie ( 1888-1985). She was best known for shooting over 70 cougars, outliving 4 husbands, and running a post office, general store and mail order nursery business.

There are plans to record a selection of the 30 songs for a full length CD.