Kristin Shout and Smoking Kitten

Kristin Shout and Smoking Kitten


A little bit cowboy, a little bit cabaret. Draws on influences from Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Johnny Cash, Edith Piaf and PJ Harvey.


The music of Kristin Shout draws from influences ranging from the cabaret tunes of Edith Piaf to the country of Johnny Cash and the "alternately brazen and moody vocals of PJ Harvey". Although her voice has been compared to performers ranging from Karen Carpenter to Lucinda Williams to EmmyLou Harris, her vocal color and songwriting style is uniquely her own. Paul Barile of Chicago Arts and Entertainment confirmed, "Her combination of fearlessness and talent result in sexy, dark songs that are as ageless as they are intelligent."
Kristin's formative years were spent in North Carolina and Nebraska, but her music career started on the streets of Paris in 1994. Over the next five years, she traveled and played in such diverse European countries as: Belgium, Holland, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and, of course, France. Her music is a mish-mash of all of her influences: Indie yet Americana with a European flavor -- A little bit cowboy, a little bit cabaret.
Prior to her journeys overseas, Kristin received a fellowship award from the Illinois Arts Council in the field of performance art, which enabled her to stage her well-received one women show "Screaming to be Free from the Icon Tree." Her history in poetry and performance is evident in her theatrical lyric style. Monica Kendrick from the Chicago Reader explained, "Kristin Shout's a longtime Chicago fixture --she used to book bands at Czar Bar and was part of the team that won the 1991 National Poetry Slam-- but she earned her musical chops busking around Europe, picking up the life experiences that give her jazzy country-hybrid songs their cinematic resonance. Her swooping, husky, mutable voice inhabits a creepy world of tornadoes, drugs, criminals, and ambivalent love, and Shout sings like she's been there a long time, familiar with all its dark alleys and hiding places."

Shout can be seen performing with her band, Smoking Kitten, which was voted the best new band in Chicago in New City’s "Best of Chicago" 2002 Reader's Choice poll. They have played at some of Chicago's most acclaimed original music clubs, such as The House of Blues, The Abbey Pub, Schuba's, Double Door and Martyrs'. She has shared billings with Grammy nominated vocalist, Abra Moore, Golden Globe nominated songwriter, Dave Baerwald (Tuesday Night Music Club), Soul Asylum, Nash Kato, Jay Bennett (Wilco), Scott Lucas (Local H), Fastball, The Spin Doctors, Josh Joplin, Kelly Hogan, Tim Easton, Leon Russell, The Alarm, Kasim Sultan (from Utopia) and Amy Rigby.

According to Barile from Chicago Arts and Entertainment, "Through stark originality and adherence to musical integrity, Shout's music has grown to be yet another facet in the jewel called Chicago's music scene". Backing Kristin Shout is Smoking Kitten: Doug Brush (vibraphone and assorted percussion), Brian Wilke (Pedal Steel), Greg Nergaard (bass), Melissa Ziemer (backup vocals) and John Knecht (drums). Smoking Kitten plays on Shout's follow-up EP and her new full-length debut, "Thorny Devil", released in January, 2006. They paint her cleverly crafted lyrics with rich instrumentals that are cinematic on the open westward roads or on the couch after dusk.


2000 - Kristin Shout -debut EP
2003- Kristin Shout and Smoking Kitten -follow up EP
2006 - Thorny Devil

Set List

Generally, we do no more than two sets per show. Sets typically last from 45 minutes to an hour. Most of the songs are original compositions. Occasionally we throw in a cover song. A typical example of a set:
1. Butterflies
2. Tale of a Texas Rancher
3. Tongue-Tied
4. Dimanche
5. Ride
6. Daisy Blue Eyes
7. Avalanche
8. Superstar (cover written by Leon Russell)
9. Le Spaghetti Chasson
10. Bruiseless
11. Mobster in Costume
12. All Your Money
13. Sleeping Chair
14. One-Sided