Last spring saw the release of Slips of the Tongue, Katie's debut LP, which dropped on indie label, Red-Winged Blackbird Records. In support of her new album, she embarked upon a 50-State RV Tour, "From Sea to Shining Sea." Katie kicked off her tour with a showcase at the Rhythm N' Blooms Festival (Jessica Lea Mayfield, Spirit Family Reunion, Mandolin Orange, etc.) in Knoxville, TN, and then began slowly making her way to each of the 50 states.

It is an unconventional approach to touring on an album, but Powderly insisted that the only thing capable of quelling the restlessness and yearning inside of her is at the end of a vast expanse of pavement.

Upon her departure, she was honored by her hometown at the Madison Area Music Awards.

Winner 2012 Madison Area Music Awards Best Country & Bluegrass Performer

2012 Finalist for Madison Area Music Awards:

1. Best Country/Bluegrass album: Slips of the Tongue

2. Best Country/Bluegrass performer: Katie Powderly

3. Best Country/Bluegrass song: Tables, Turning

4. Best Unique Song: Blue

The album creating all this buzz, Slips of the Tongue, was recorded in both Madison, WI, and Knoxville, TN, with a band comprised of musicians from both states. The Madison portions were recorded at Smart Studios, which is owned by Butch Vig of Garbage. Smart is best known as where Nirvana recorded parts of Nevermind and Smashing Pumpkins recorded Gish. Mike Zirkel (Best Studio Engineer 2011, 2012 Madison Area Music Awards) engineered the Wisconsin portions of Katie's record.

The Tennessee portions of her album were recorded at Elkgang Studios in Knoxville, which is the recording studio of Scott Minor, drummer of the now defunct Sparklehorse. Minor has engineered some of East TN's hottest Americana releases, including The Black Lillies' Runaway Freeway Blues, 100 Miles of Wreckage, and Whiskey Angel, as well as Jill Andrews' eponymous EP. Check out a brief preview of Slips of the Tongue before reading more about the all-star cast with whom she recorded:

In order to achieve the specific sound she was going for, Katie knew she would need a hybrid WI/TN band, so she enlisted the help of nine of her friends. This group just so happened to include some of East Tennessee's best known Americana artists, including bassist Bryn Davies, who currently tours with Jack White after a long stint with up-and-comer Justin Townes Earle, but who has also recorded and toured with such luminaries as Guy Clark, Tony Rice Unit, Patty Griffin, and others. Bryn performed on the 2012 Grammys alongside Jack White, and has also appeared on Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, and other nationally-airing television programs. Jill Andrews, Josh Oliver, and Tom Pryor form the rest of the Tennessee contingent, names you might recognize as members of the former everybodyfields or from The Black Lillies, who have been recently featured on CMT and have played over a dozen times at The Grand Ole Opry.

The Wisconsin musicians include Jon Vriesacker of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and Andrew Harrison who has also toured as a sideman with Joe Pug.

In her short musical career, Katie has been on PBS & NPR, and has toured from New York to Colorado, Texas to Tennessee.

She has shared bills with Tony Rice, Del McCoury Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Black Lillies, Lake Street Dive, Woody Pines, Jill Andrews, The Honeycutters, J.P. Harris & The Tough Choices, The Deadstring Brothers, and many others, including some sold-out shows recently with Langhorne Slim and The David Mayfield Parade on the east coast. Her singing and harmonies have been likened to Gillian Welch (Isthmus, Madison, WI) and Gram Parsons (City Paper, Rochester, NY.) Slips of the Tongue, however, marks a shift in genre for Powderly, deepening her sound from simple folk music to something described as hauntingly beautiful (Isthmus, Madison, WI) and David Lynch-y (Flying Rooster, Chapel Hill, NC) exceptional enough in quality to establish her as "one of Madison's most promising musical talents" (Isthmus, Madison, WI.)

As for her 50-State tour, Powderly maintained that she would like to actually see the country as she traveled our nation's highways to get to the taverns and barrooms she would be performing in. She noted that this idea was inspired by the Simon and Garfunkel tune, America.

"I wanted to combine my love of playing music with my search for America. I love our country and wanted to take the time to see it, to get to know it."

And she did get to know it, as she floated from town to town, sleeping on floors and couches and sometimes even in the back of her car in a Waffle House parking lot in southern Mississippi. One thing that plagued her, however, was an unexpected sense of isolation. All of the friends she had recorded with were touring with their primary bands. Katie yearned for people with whom to share the ups and downs of life on the road.

"I was literally living my dream. And it was wonderful. But something was missing. I felt sharp pangs of loneliness that underscored all of my moments of joy."

So she took some time off from touring under her own name and started sidemanning for other bands. While on tour in December of 2012 playing upright bass for Woody Pines, they passed through the small town of Frederick, MD. Something about it gripped her. She returned, citing only her intuition as her motivation.

Upon arrival, she nearly immediately fell in musical love with the men who are now her bandmates, The Unconditional Lovers. Given her past playing with some of the Americana scene's premiere musicians, one can only assume the men she has chosen to accompany her in her new band are of exceptional quality, as well.

Her new band plays folk music, electrified and electrifying. They are currently polishing up a set of new tunes and are looking to head out to start Katie's 50-State "From Sea To Shining Sea" Tour over again from scratch, together. They will be touring in support of Slips of the Tongue and have plans to record another full-length LP in the spring which will be co-produced by Katie and Grammy-nominated record producer, David Mayfield.


For booking, contact katiepowderlymusic@gmail.com
All other inquiries: redwingedblackbirdrecords@gmail.com