Libby Kirkpatrick
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Libby Kirkpatrick

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Band Folk


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"Reviews: Libby Kirkpatrick ~ Winged & Songs From The Ether"

Artist: Libby Kirkpatrick
CD: Sample tracks from "Winged" and "Songs From The Ether"

Home: Boulder, CO

Style: Folk/Acoustic/Rock

Quote: "Her lyrics are wise yet whimsical, passionate yet simple".

By Ashley Chappell

Everything about Libby Kirkpatrick’s style reminds me of a road trip to the beach in the middle of a sweaty, sleepy summer. Libby is my oldest and dearest friend, riding shotgun and rhapsodizing about life and love. Her guitar and voice blend flawlessly like the waves and the wind, producing something warm and inviting. Her lyrics are salty and last on your tongue.

Armed only with her acoustic guitar, Kirkpatrick’s smoky voice lingers with you long after you’ve sampled her strong live album, Winged, or her award-winning debut, Songs From The Ether. Her clarity and range make Kirkpatrick mesmerizing. She could sing from the dictionary and make it sound like Shakespeare.

But she doesn’t have to. Her lyrics are wise yet whimsical, passionate yet simple. “Crying” from Songs From The Ether is the raw, angry tale of a woman that loses love to lies, but remains solidly self-assured, while “Jupiter” from the same album playfully describes the fall into love – whether on earth or in space. Different still are songs like “Silver Road,” from the live recording Winged, that paint a scene for the listener to escape to and meditate on Kirkpatrick’s words:

"I met you before on a high, winding road,
A small, silver back highway that glittered…
And I stood before water that reflected no light…
Clear water lapped at my ankles and drew me down below the surface,
Where silver rocks lay sparse and shining, quiet and mindful."

Kirkpatrick compares to folk-indie artist Ani Difranco in her smooth control and candid lyrical experimentation. Both of Kirkpatrick’s albums are stark and spellbinding works from a genuine talent.

Songs Included: “Vaulted Heart,” “To A Child,” and “Silver Road” from Winged; “Crying,” “Thunder,” and “Jupiter” from Songs From The Ether - Ashley Chappell -

"Relix Magazine"

"Libby Kirkpatrick is a stunning singer/ songwriter....Goodnight Venus is a superb effort. Kirkpatrick has a distinctive voice with range and power. There's not a bad track among the 13 here."
- Mick Shidmore

"Modern Dance Music Review Magazine"

"This is Libby's third album, and it has to be said is by far and away the
best! Her first was simple and honest, her second was better produced and still honest, this one is sumptuous, well produced and has her in a 'band' situation. I don't think I could be wrong here either, but her voice is so striking and the mix is incredible. I won't be surprised at all to hear this album getting plenty of exposure, given it all the credit it deserves. The fuller sound that Libby has here does her no end of credit, emphasizing her song writing, her vocals and her lyrics are wrapped in some very provocative music.Out of the 13 songs, there really isn't one that's below superb. I honestly couldn't have imagined that even her two previous albums, would lead to anything near the class and quality that Goodnight Venus has. Brilliant." - Dave Hughes

"Singer Magazine"

"There is no question Libby Kirkpatrick is a romantic. Her honest and original lyrics in Goodnight Venus suggest nothing, if not a knowledge of love and all that comes with it. On her latest album, Kirkpatrick shows an emotional vulnerability through her music that is so sincere it tugs at your heartstrings. On the eighth track, "Crying," she sings of a lover who led her to believe he wanted to be with her, but he was only lying. Each track on her CD is very candid and honest. Though her sculpted voice has been compared to Ani DiFranco, Shawn Colvin and Joan Osborne, Kirkpatrick is in a class of her own. Her textured voice is like nothing else out there; it's very unique. We will be seeing more of Kirkpatrick in the future; she's great!" - C.K.Smith

"Daily Texan"

"Libby Kirkpatrick is, by anyone's measure, one of the best songwriters in Austin. Though her striking style most closely resembles that of Patty Griffin, her third album (and first national release) "Goodnight Venus," certainly breaks new ground with a marked departure from typical Texas folk. Libby's soulful vocals and heartfelt lyrics lend the album an intimate, at times whimsical character that seems to have escaped the younger generation of Austin songwriters. While the effortlessness of her lyrical delivery on tunes such as "Vaulted Heart" and album-closer "This Raging Moment" might remind listeners of more contemporary sounds (Ani DiFranco), her melodic sense seems more typical of artists like Joni Mitchell or Rose Polenzani.A remarkable contribution to Austin's music culture, this is simply a must-have album for fans of the genre ... especially the aspiring songwriter/guitarist." ****1/2 (4.5 out of 5 stars)" - Max Harger Daily Texan - Max Harger

"Roots Music Report"

"Libby Kirkpatrick’s horoscope must have been that she was going to release a great folk album this year.   The Goodnight Venus CD is comprised of 13 original songs penned by Libby.  Her unique vocal performance is artfully done.  This album is full of surprises and a captivating listen.****(four stars)" - John McLaughlin

"Guitar Player Magazine"

"Hot Guitarist Alert! Libby's soothing, melt-chocolate singing voice, her jangly, flowing guitar riffs and her captivating songs.....simultaneously channel the spirits of Joni Mitchell and Andy Summers and you'll probably get the vibe here."
- Jude Gold

"Sing Out Magazine"

"Libby Kirkpatrick's 'Goodnight Venus' is a soulful, groovy blend of folk, pop, r & b and jazz. Her edgy, mercurial vocals bob and weave among masterfully layered instrumental arrangements and shifting rhythmic and tonal currents. The sound is at once familiar and unexpected, full of surprises that continually catch the ear. Cool stuff - recommended." - Sing Out Magazine - Sing Out Magazine

"Performing Songwriter"

"A fluid, dark, utterly beautiful record. Kirkpatrick’s breathtaking, agile voice and fearless delivery take this already solid set of songs and lift them into the stratosphere. Conjuring heartbreaking voices from Rickie Lee Jones to PJ Harvey and Cat Power, she keens, howls, croons and chirps her way through smart contemporary pop, brooding folk and luscious, pulsating laments. The sonic textures of Goodnight Venus are as deep and luxurious as the content of her lyrics. Standouts “Circus,” “To a Child,” and “Vaulted Heart” illustrate Kirkpatrick’s ease with lyrical complexity and mind-bending melody and harmony. Patty Griffin, watch your back." - Clay Steakley,

"Austin American Statesman"

" Libby Kirkpatrick's captivating performances at festivals and notable acoustic venues across the nation already have created a serious buzz within the Americana and contemporary folk communities. An assured guitarist and songwriter with a dynamic, soaring voice, Kirkpatrick most clearly evokes Joni Mitchell, but comparisons to Ricky Lee Jones, Shawn Colvin or even Ani DiFranco wouldn't be unfounded." - Jeremy Egner

"The Village Voice"

 "This Austin-based songstress possesses a clear voice that weaves itself unexpectedly through a melody, and a firm command of acoustic guitar... she easily shares the lineage of Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones, or Ani DiFranco.  Ask her to play 'The Dream That You Are,' a cool, spare tune with a funky flugelhorn that intermittently asserts itself."

- Carrie Havranek


"Heroine" - Libby Kirkpatrick (Forthcoming)
"Sweet Songs" - various artists (2010)
"Collaborations" - Will Taylor and Strings Attached (2005)
"Goodnight Venus" - Libby Kirkpatrick (2003)
"Winged" - Libby Kirkpatrick (2002)
"Women From Mars" - various artists (1999)
"Songs From The Ether" - Libby Kirkpatrick (1998)



Curly haired Libby Kirkpatrick looks unassuming enough in pre-show set up but she's an avant garde force right from set kickoff -- a soaring, looping comet. Her streaming lyrics flame and smoke and twist and tail and even shrug if they feel like it. Don't wait for a chorus or a sing along. Not going to happen. Sad love songs, never. Get ready to be challenged or to be knocked off balance or just to laugh out loud. I mean, she'll wake up the bartender. She'll wake up the whole sleepy room. You can fit her between Tom Waits and Ricki Lee Jones. She's a generation younger but that gives you a baseline. She's a defiant, chanting poet like those two; but she's more like a zany sandbox friend who sings what she dreams and daydreams. And are we ever fortunate to share her mud pies. In her creative process, she's “a big mean grumpy man” insisting on quiet and privacy but then “waiting to be elevated by running, walking, yoga, meditation. coffee or chocolate, or a combination of these things. Thats where I distill the most interesting pieces of dreams or concepts or feelings. That’s when the music lands to fit these pieces.” Out of that workshop comes Libby’s adventurous new CD, Heroine -- tastefully produced but lightning in a jar nonetheless which, among other things, illustrates recent changes in her life. Growing up around Philadelphia, Libby Kirkpatrick began playing classical piano at 3 years of age:. At age fourteen acoustic guitar started accompanying her “adventure-seeking desires as a nomadic youth.” Libby lived “minimalistically” overseas in India and Thailand, then busked in Ireland where she concentrated on original songs. Returning to the States, she lived in Boulder, Colorado where she honed her guitar playing and writing skills. Live performances and organized tours started to happen in the mid 1990s She developed solid regional followings along the West Coast, Southwest, and Northeast. From 2001 until just recently, Libby resided in Austin, Texas between rigorous tours and fun traveling. But she jokes that her true residency is “Toyota USA”, her road warrior truck, and that Bryn Mawr Pensylvania, Boulder Colorado, the San Juan Islands of Washington, and Portland Oregon and now Cambridge, Mass. are all home to her. The new discipline since 2007, the one that brings her to Cambridge, is becoming homemaker-mama-wifey”; particularly, raising her son, Charlie. “The sheer humility of parenting and partnering in a house,” she says, “has afforded me steps towards the well roundedness that monks attain in the monestary. In parenting Charlie, I am bent out of my natural freewheeling shape on the one hand, and on the other, it may be my saving grace to have him to contour to. As it turns out, im a natural mama in many ways!” But all this has also led her back to performing. “It is my sheer desire to escape and return to the simple joy of singing to someone who appreciates it (and who doesnt know of what other less desirable things that im capable of) that drives me back to the stage. SHORT BIO: Fitting neatly between mentors a generation older like Ricki Lee Jones and Tom Waits, folk poet / avant garde force Libby Kirkpatrick emerged from her Philadelphia roots and classical training and bloomed in “minimalistic” overseas travel to India, Thailand, then Ireland where she began concentrating on singing original songs, accompanying herself with acoustic guitar. Returning to the States, Kirkpatrick lived in Boulder, Colorado and from there began touring in the mid 1990's; she developed solid regional followings along the West Coast, Southwest, and Northeast. Her trio of CDs, Songs From the Ether (1997), Winged (1999) (which was partly recorded live at Folks Fest) and Goodnight Venus (2003) came out of this fertile period. From 2001 until recently, she's been generally Austin, Texas based but, as ever, somewhat of a rolling stone in her road warrior Toyota truck. Recent relocation to Cambridge, MA accompanied her transition to "homemaker-mama-wifey" as she raises son Charlie but also heralded a return to recording and performing with the 2011 release of the entrancing Heroine. As you sink into her poetic reflections on this new chapter in life and experience her soothing, whispering, soaring vocal talent wrapped around her guitar – you’re simply transported. Libby Kirkpatrick’s entire “Heroine” album is a brave invitation to travel from your heart to hers and back to the center of your own. It’s brave musically too. With sophisticated arrangements and unique instrumental choices through her partnership with producer and musician Rob Halverson, Libby’s songwriting maturity shines. Halverson’s quirky use of instrumentation together with Libby’s creative songwriting and vocal acrobatics create new sounds reminiscent of the creative input of George Martin. Rob and Libby’s production and songwriting talents combine to create dark, intimate story with subtle, yet surprising sounds that become more pr