Kate Callahan & Echo Joy

The first dozen nights after the first dozen gigs, Kate Callahan lay wide awake in bed: 2AM, 3AM, tick, tick, tick - promising herself she would quit in order to trick her body into falling asleep. The next morning always led to a renegotiation. The aliveness, the racing thoughts, the reflections consumed Kate the way a new romance does. Surrendering, she agreed to the sleepless, structure-less, creative and compelling life of a new singer/songwriter.

A decade later Kate sleeps very well and with the release of her third album Two Doors, has channeled the energy that once kept her awake, into a musically uplifting and socially daring album. Produced and recorded with Jim Chapdelaine (Grammy nominated & 13 Emmys), Two Doors is folk with textures of indie, country, and soul. Drummers Lorne Entress (Catie Curtis, Mark Erelli, Erin McKeown) and Jon Peckman (The Feathermerchants) lend rhythm; Paul Kochanski plays electric and upright bass; André Balazs (Bi-Polar Juke Box) a soulful piano, Jim Chapdelaine on guitars of all sorts, and Kate is the acoustic guitarist and vocalist responsible for these songs.

A nominee for Connecticut’s 1st Annual Music Awards, Kate has been awarded the Hartford Advocate’s “Best Solo Performer” award three times. Her performances and creative work in Connecticut earned her the non-profit based Serenity Award and the distinction “Woman of Character” in 2005 from the Hartford Courant, where she met Jane Fonda and accepted her award in the historic Bushnell Theater.

Kate has opened shows for folk legends Judy Collins and Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul & Mary), and troubadours Aztec-Two Step, Mustard’s Retreat, the late Bill Morrissey, and Rachael Sage. She’s shared stages with Regina Spektor, Noel Paul Stookey, Jonny Rodgers, and her musical partner André Balazs. She performed at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival 2004 as an emerging artist.

​WNPR's Colin M​cEnroe revie​wed Kate's recent performance at the Hartfolk Festival, saying, "Kate Callahan is the only performer I’ve ever seen who occasionally seems to be channeling something vaster and far more ancient than herself, something more easily understood by Emerson than by any modern person." McEnroe goes on to say, "...with Begley and Wolcott flanking her, with the superb Andre Balazs on piano and the exuberant Kaia Pazdersky on violin, there was a kind of giant, multi-pronged Emersonian celestial tuning fork onstage. It was a pretty thing to see, and it put light in one’s heart."

​An astrologer once told Kate that balance within her life was essential. Kate balances life’s challenges (she’s a survivor of traumatic brain injury and has overcome anorexia) by tipping the scale in the other direction with love, spiritual awareness, and self-expression. Her spiritual teacher Brenda Morgan has provided her with perspectives that lead Kate to more happiness in life and in Divinity. Kate’s husband David Ames is a mirror for the love she feels for herself and those along her path.

"In 2007, Bellingham, WA singer/songwriter Chris Riffle headed east to the other side of the country, taking up residence on New York's Lower East Side and plying his songcraft in the numerous pass-the-hat music clubs in the area. With a remarkable "old soul" folk style that belies his boyish looks, Riffle has evolved from the poppier exploits of his earlier songs into a writer and performer of uncommon depth and intimacy -- Nick-Drake-meets-Elliott-Smith influences that make his recent self-released album Introducing a rewarding, revealing listen. Riffle excels, says John Norris, in "creating quiet acoustic folk gems that are by turns wistful, wounded, firm, tender, smart, and utterly personal." We couldn't agree more."

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Kate Callahan & Echo Joy with Chris Riffle

Saturday, November 2 · 7:00 PM at Ella Lounge