Katee Kross (and Ross David Barron)
Katee is a 23 year old Singer-Songwriter who, with the help of her Management Team and Ross, is forging a career as an independent artist and songwriter. She has performed with some top names including, Dougie MacLean, Barbara Dickson, Karine Polwart, James Grant, Red Sky July, John Doyle, Findlay Napier, JJ Gilmour, Tony McManus, Catherine McGrath, Wildwood Kin, Ferris & Sylvester, Whispering Bob Harris and Seasick Steve.
Photo Credit: Stage Storm Film & Photography
Katee: Moon Guitar
Ross: Fender Stratocaster and an Ibanez AS200
Amps: Roland blues cube
Pedals / Electronics: Hardware Delay pedal, an Orange Kongpresser and BB preamp
She's just released her new album "Show Your Hand", which was launched at a sell out concert at Websters Theatre in Glasgow, has had recent airplay for it on BBC Radio Scotland and is getting more and more press coverage as the year progresses. This is one gal who's going places ya'll ! We asked Katee about her songwriting, music and processes...
Q: What first introduced you to music, how long have you been playing for and why the guitar?
"I first got into music because of my parents. I come from a very musical background and was always surrounded by amazing music and musicians, so it was just a natural procession for me to fall into music. I suppose I play the guitar because that’s what my dad plays and I remember looking up to him thinking one day I’m going to be that good, of course now I’m better than him lol I have been playing and singing since the age of 6 but didn’t write my first song till I was 13."
Q: Who are your main influences – are they the same for songwriting and guitar or do you have different ones for both ?
"I take influence from a whole load of people of course there are few country superstars in there like Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, Linda Ronstadt, Sugarland, Kacey Musgraves and Johnny Cash. But I also take influence from musicians like Bob Dylan, The Beatles, T-rex, Slade, Dougie MacLean and Karine Polwart. My biggest hero will always be Buddy Holly."
Q: How do you approach writing a new song, what processes do you go through. Melody first, or guitar/chord progression ideas come first… or does it all differ for each song ?
"It’s just like children no two songs are the same. They all start out in different ways. Myself, Ross and my Dad, Peter, all write together. We try to sit down at least once a week and our aim for the session is to either have half a song finished or a full song. We make sure to come to the meeting with an idea and then the magic happens from there. But I wouldn’t say it was just one of us that writes the lyrics we all take turns of doing lyrics and melody but it’s a very natural process and we just take it how it comes."
And just like her hero, Buddy Holly also thought treated his songs as though they had their own characters, each with their own nuances and characteristics, a life of their own if you will..
Q: What are your main topic areas for song writing, love, loss, life etc?
"I fell like the best way for us to write is to always have a topic and a storyline. It’s like almost writing a short story. I’m still young so don’t have a huge amount of life experience that way its good to write with my dad. We also listen, watch and read the news a lot. Knowing what’s happening around the world can really help with topics."
Q: Do you write in the country genre only or are you happy with other styles of music?
We try to not constrict ourselves to only thinking about one genre as I feel that sometimes that can slow the process down. We just come up with an idea and if we like it and think it sounds good then we run with it.
Q: How do you get ideas for songs, do you listen to other songwriters/music artists ?
"A good way to get ideas for songs is by listening to and reading the news. It allows you to come up with topics quickly. Also, if you’re on public transport it’s also good to have a listen into other people’s conversations. I know this seems cheeky, but it gives you a quick insight to someone’s life."
Q: Have you had writers block and if so, how do you cope with it, just leave it until it’s ready to come out, or does the team / you "fight to write" ?
"Writes block is something that we have suffered from before. The best solution for us is always to walk away from it and come back to it later on."
Q: How was your new album recorded - in a studio, or Home Studio - Who produced it and how did you finance it ?
"The brand new album ‘Show Your Hand’ (which is our fourth album) was recorded in Solas Studio in Glasgow and was produced by Gus Stirrat who done a fantastic job. We were extremely lucky to receive funding from Creative Scotland for our fourth album. This enabled us to go to a fancy studio in Glasgow and to just overall improve the product we were producing."
Q: Have you had any interest from Labels or Publishers
"We have had some interest from both labels and publishers but at this moment it’s just not what we need or are looking for. We are extremely proud and grateful to have had the interest."
Q: What’s the plan with the album and for 2020 – more gigs etc ?
"We believe that this album will help to push us to the next level. The biggest goal for this year is to return to Germany for another tour and to also improve our profile in England."
Q: What stumbling blocks have you had as a music artist or songwriter/composer ?
"The biggest struggle as an independent unsigned artist is the financial strain of releasing a Single/EP or an album. That’s why we felt so lucky to have received our funding from Creative Scotland."
Photo Credit: Stage Storm Film & Photography
Q: What’s planned next, will you release another album or just release Singles or EP’s?
"We have started planning for our next album release and the writing session will begin very soon. But for now we are just enjoying playing ‘Show Your Hand’ and looking forward to a very busy 2020"
Wishing Katee, Ross & Peter all the best with the new album "Show Your Hand" also for 2020 and beyond
Click Album Cover to listen and DOWNLOAD
By Pete Carroll (March 2020)