KATEE KROSS // KING TUT'S WAH WAH HUT, GLASGOW
It’s Sunday night in King Tuts and the headline act for this evening’s New Year Revolution show is upcoming songwriter Katee Kross.
At 21, the singer/songwriter hailing from nearby Bishopbriggs has already worked with some well-established performers including Barbara Dickson, Dougie MacLean, and Seasick Steve who famously invited her to perform with him at Wembley Stadium after hearing her cover his track “Purple Shadows”. She has very quickly enmeshed herself into the scene and established herself as a prolific songwriter with three LPs under her belt since 2016. The most recent, “Body and Soul” is only a few months old and this hometown show provides an excellent opportunity to showcase that new batch of songs with her friends, The Amberjax, who provide the guitar and rhythm section tonight.
Things kick things off with “Count To Ten” a driven, crowd pleasing track that effortlessly melds big country melodies with thick blues riffs and it fits perfectly with “I’m Coming Home”, the opening track from 2017s “Don’t Fade To Grey”.
Katee is instinctively comfortable with her audience and takes the time to thank everyone for being out so late on this first Sunday of the new year.
“Old Soul” is arguably her most commercially successful track to date. A simple, laid back affair drenched in undiluted Americana and unapologetic Country Blues. With songs like this it’s easy to see why she is currently one of the frontrunners in the Scottish Country scene.
The beautifully melancholic “Bluebird” follows, a bittersweet and poignant love song that seems to resonate with the crowd and is greeted with rapturous applause. Things are then kicked up a gear with a Runrig style foot stomper in “Shallow Falls” and the equally upbeat “Hey There Mr”, the latter being an open letter to those in charge of making and breaking musicians within the unscrupulous record business.
“Dancing With My Past” is the first and only new song on tonight’s set list and I have to say it’s my favourite. It seems Katee is at her best, or most honest and reflective, with tempo slowed and whilst this was in a similar vein to “Bluebird” it felt much more mature and struck much more of a chord with me. It’s the contemplative moments like this where other less obvious creative muses start to be heard and for me I could hear pleasing shades of Eva Cassidy and Joni Mitchell.
Closing the set is the title track from “Body and Soul”, another catchy and rousing track that definitely left the crowd wanting more. So much so the chant of “one more song” repeatedly booms around the room before any of the band have a chance to put their guitars down. After checking with her newly appointed drummer they finish this short but accomplished set with a Vince Gill’s “Reasons For the Tears I Cry” and it closes the night perfectly.
I think Katee can be proud to have rejected the advances of the reality TV shows that came knocking. She seems to be confidently forging a career on her own and more importantly, in her own terms, whilst performing music she continues to feel passionately about.
Katee’s three LPs and even earlier singles show a clear step up in songwriting and from what I heard tonight the new material is absolutely going to take her in the right direction.