Kate Lissauer is an excellent fiddler, clawhammer banjo picker, guitarist and singer. A champion fiddler in her home state of Maryland, she is highly respected for her work in the American folk idioms. She currently performs with Buffalo Gals, a UK-based band, which performs regularly in clubs and festivals. She has been a member of ‘The Caledonia Ramblers’ (a Celtic-American fusion band) and responsible for introducing American step-dancing to a wider audience in the UK as a member of the ‘Steptones Appalacian cloggers’.
I met Kate Lissauer in an old-time music workshop in Spain in 2007. This is a wonderful old-time music event organized by Kate every year. It is held in Andalucia, Spain, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, a great place to spend a week full of music. Kate has been putting this event together with great success for over 6 years now. It is already an attraction for old-time and folk music lovers from around the world. It is an annual event where people share their knowledge and enthusiasm in an informal and friendly atmosphere.
What really attracted me to old-time fiddle in the first place was what I found in Kate’s playing: effortless groove and archaic sound qualities. Kate can generate that musical energy that seems to come when we develop our skills in a pure, musical and organic manner away from concepts of effort and expediency. Kate’s playing has really grown naturally from the fertile ground of a rich and beautiful tradition, a tradition she respects and enriches.
I have attended Kate’s workshops on fiddle and banjo. She is an excellent and patient teacher. She has that teaching instinct of focusing on the ‘musical’ aspects of music rather than the technical ones, encouraging you to find your own way of doing something. Her classes offer a field for fruitful conversation and interaction, while her big library of tunes ensures a really fun jam session with her.
Kate has recorded 3 albums, which have received excellent reviews: Ain’t no Grave, Walk Chalk Chicken and Stately Mansion. I admire her commitment to music and I treasure all the encouragement and help she’s given me all these years.
For more information visit Kate Lissauer’s website.