“Wildwood” hit #7 album, and “Worry My Friend” hit #5 song, on the international Folk-DJ charts for September! What a thrill. Here’s the full chart: https://www.folkradio.org/
Today is the official world premiere of the music video for “Helen,” track #4 from my new album “Wildwood”! Full video available on Ditty TV here:
Check out this new review of “Wildwood”! Read the full thing below or here.
Those bitter Midwestern winters we love to gripe about have indirectly given us one of modern folk music’s greatest treasures in Katie Dahl, a singer/songwriter and masterful storytelling poet who caps her first decade as a recording artist with Wildwood – a powerfully compelling collection of modern and historical, personal reflections and heartfelt, colorful family stories branching from the Minnesota native’s beloved adopted ancestral home region of Door County, Wisconsin.
Katie was a college freshman when she slipped on a patch of sidewalk ice and broke her wrist. Unable to play oboe in her school’s orchestra, she taught herself guitar – playing chord shapes while strumming strings with her stiff right hand. Under the production guidance of JT Nero, frontman of Americana/folk band Birds of Chicago who shares a lifelong history in Door County, Katie is still strumming her melodies beautifully, enhanced on this graceful, ballad dominated set by spirited pedal steel (Steve Dawson), fiddle (Kristin Webber) and vocal (Allison Russell) harmonies.
Yet it’s her soulful, expressive and inviting vocals and the clever, colorful and insightful narratives she weaves that make Wildwood the glorious journey it is. Even as she takes an overriding loving view of the region and her ancestors that settled there, she is upfront and honest about fears and hard times (hers and her antecedents) as well. “Anna Lee” finds her seeking the solace of a mysterious visiting bird to bring light, calm and healing. Katie balances the solace of a California vacation with fears that it’s all a teasing mirage by calling “Worry my Friend.”
Other key tracks include “Helen” (about the desire to escape the north country for less confining realms), “Good Northern Ground” (a grand tale of her ancestors’ discovery of “good Northern ground),” and “The Fisherman’s Daughter” (a lyrical gem from her second musical of the same name). Katie also breaks the ballad mode a few times with a whimsical romp about her ongoing affection for her home state of “Minnesota” and Pat MacDonald’s swampy and whimsical “Valmy.”
The Kickstarter campaign for “Wildwood” finished strong last week, thanks to the generosity of 405 backers on the Kickstarter site (and almost 50 who contributed off-site). “Wildwood” will be officially released September 13. Until then, you can pre-order (and get an immediate track download of “Helen”!) on iTunes. Or you can pre-save it on Spotify for the chance to win a free t-shirt.
Enormous thanks to all who contributed to the Kickstarter. The elves are busy packaging up your rewards!
Katie Dahl’s new album, “Wildwood,” will be released Friday, September 13. Produced by Birds of Chicago’s JT Nero, the album features backing vocals by Allison Russell (Po’ Girl, Birds of Chicago, Our Native Daughters) as well as a host of other super-talented Nashvillians. Visit the Kickstarter campaign (which will run through August 14) for more information!
Album release concerts are scheduled for Madison (9/13), Mequon, WI (9/14), Evanston, IL (9/15), and Door County (11/30, co-bill with Capitol Sun Rays–Birds of Chicago, Luther Dickinson, Amy Helm, and Grahame Lesh). More release concerts will be announced soon!
“Solid Ground” has had a lot of success on the national FOLK-DJ radio charts in the past six months, including being the #15 most-played album in October! The most-played song from the record on folk radio is “Woody’s Fire.” Also, “In the Dark” (Katie’s 2016 single) hit #25 on the charts in December. It’s been a good year for radio!
Katie Dahl has officially released her fourth studio album. She made this one in conjunction with Memphis multi-instrumentalist Eric Lewis and her husband, Rich Higdon. On “Solid Ground,” Katie Dahl, Eric Lewis, and Rich Higdon give voice to the songs of Fred Alley, an actor, playwright, and Door County, Wisconsin luminary who died suddenly in 2001 at age 38. Hundreds of thousands of people have seen Alley’s theater pieces (most notably, “Guys on Ice” and “The Spitfire Grill”), but his non-theatrical songs are less well-known. Laced with dobro, mandolin, harmonica, guitar, upright bass, and washboard, the twelve songs on “Solid Ground” are thoroughly steeped in imagery of northeastern Wisconsin (flannel sheets, threshers on the highway, Lake Michigan) but are also worldly and sophisticated, literary and spiritual. The album is available now at www.katiedahlmusic.com/music.