California singer-songerwriter Kate Wolf died of leukemia at the age of 44 in 1986, but her songs continue to live on today.
Dirty Linen, the folk music website, had a recent post reporting that Wolf’s catalog of folk albums will be reissued this July. Here’s how Dirty Linen describes Wolf’s work and influence:
Her blend of folk, country and pop helped pave the way for artists like Nanci Griffith and Mary-Chapin Carpenter. Wolf never had a hit single, and in fact the All Music Guide points out that “her style is one that tends to grow on listeners over time, as Wolf is not about flash. Her songs, characterized by a strong narrative thread, are about the ebbs and flows of adult life, in terms that are neither overly sentimental not mundane.” As late singer-songwriter Utah Phillips once introduced her, “I’d like you to meet Kate Wolf. She owns herself.”
For those of you in California, check out the 2009 Kate Wolf Memorial Festival on June 26-28. There’s a strong line-up headlined by Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, and Mavis Staples.
I wrote a post about a wonderful Kate Wolf song, Sweet Love, in March of this year. If you don’t know her, she’s worth discovering.
More to come…
I’m one of the official photographers at the Kate Wolf festival, so you can see hundreds of shots online at my website. The festival is a three-night campout at a beautiful meadow in a streamside oak grove in northern Mendocino County, in northern California. It is one of the most laid-back and mellow events of the year, and one that I always look forward to. See you there!