Kathleen Grace's Kickstarter Funded No Place To Fall Shows The Money

Billed in the blurb accompanying this modestly packaged LP as a new album by an up and coming jazz singer crossing over to classic country after being turned on to Leonard Cohen by Nancy Wilson (the jazz singer not half of Heart) and later falling under the influence of Dolly, Kitty and John Prine, once you hear some of the readily available downloadable tracks from this just released set you'll be hearing another strong influence not cited as one along with Joni Mitchell and Allison Krauss: Norah Jones.

Like Jones, Ms. Grace melds country sensibilities with looser rhythmic elements and slow grooves to create an attractive hybrid. However, while Norah Jones coos, Kathleen Grace presents a more full-throated approach more reminiscent of the Canadian singer Kathleen Edwards—not to suggest Grace is anything but her own artist, but you'll get the drift if you download a few tunes.

Grace combines originals with some covers both likely (Townes Van Zandt's "No Place to Fall") and some not (The Meat Puppets' "Plateau" and Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo"). The latter two are daringly and 100% successfully re-imagined as is a gospel take on Tom Waits' "The Briar and The Rose".

Ms. Grace, who has a masters degree in jazz studies from USC, performs all of these songs tracked live in the studio under the outstanding production guidance of Sheldon Gomberg who's production and co-production credits include songs by Rickie Lee Jones, Ben Harper, k.d. lang, Lucinda Williams, Shelby Lynne, Victoria Williams and many others.

The core back up group of Erik Kertes on bass, David Steele and Tim Young on guitars, David Raven on drums and Will Gamling on keyboards are joined by the ubiquitous Greg Leisz on pedal steel and on one track, jazz guitarist Anthony Wilson (other guests abound).

There's another similarity to Norah Jones records and that's the superb sound of this live-in-the-studio recording engineered by Todd Burke and Gomberg at L.A.'s The Carriage House. Joe Gastwirt mastered and Kevin Gray cut lacquers from what surely were high resolution, not CD resolution files.

Other than a bit of edge attached to Grace's vocals, the sound is natural and convincing both timbrally and especially spatially. Well-pressed too.

I've only played this one four or five times but that was enough for me to bring it to Munich to play around at the show both for the music and the sound. Grace's evocative voice, not the sound will sell it here I'm sure.

This was a kickstarter project well worth funding.

Jim's picture

Hi Mike,
I entered Grace's name in the search engines to Music Direct, Acoustic Sounds, Soundstage Direct & HDTracks but came up with bupkis. How do you get hold of the vinyl or the downloads?

kronning's picture

looks to be limited to 500 copies according to her website. www.kathleengrace.com/wp/music/ Click on "buy" and you will see available options including LP with free Hi-Rez download for about $25.

Jim's picture

Great. Thanks for the tip.

beaur's picture

Can also get it from Bandcamp. Comes with a hi-Rez download also.