WHO IS KATE GAFFNEY ANYWAY?
“There’s something about Kate…something a little 80’s, a little 90’s, with a touch of the modern day, all steeped in the Summer of Love. You get a feeling, when you listen to Kate, that she understands the blues, but serves as a muse to keep the blues away. She’s a songwriter who songwriters write songs about. Watching her perform is somehow comforting and her honest vulnerablity lends a welcome tone to her concerts. She has found a nice rapport with her audience and is one of the few performers with whom I welcome the banter. Kate is both disarming and razor sharp at the same time. Kate has recently emerged with members of the band New Monsoon, who are a formidable rock band living in the Bay Area that consists of incredible musicians. They are helping take Kate’s songs to the next level and freeing her to sing from her multi-generational soul with abandon and charm.”
- Aaron Redner, writer/musician
Kate Gaffney, singer-songwriter-guitarist, honed her skills in her native Philadelphia, jumped from coast to coast and toured everywhere in between. After laying musical roots in Northern California, building a strong base in Sacramento, she found her niche within the fertile San Francisco Bay Area music community. With Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, High Sierra Music Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, and Hangtown Music Festival performances under her belt, she is thrilled to be playing with some of the bay area’s best local, touring musicians.
Leaving her career as a social worker in 2002, Gaffney began to perform and write alongside local artists, while soaking in the Americana music scene that was flourishing in Sacramento at the time. She hit the road and returned to her native East Coast, where she independently released two albums, Highways and The New Then. Her regular touring led Kate to Austin, TX where she met even more of “the good people” in music. Most notably, Gaffney was befriended by the late Clifford Antone, Austin’s music mogul, who gave her the validation to keep on with her musical calling. Gaffney spent her mid-20’s immersed in the Philadelphia music scene, quickly becoming a standout favorite in the city’s top venues. Upon returning to California, and after recording on both coasts with some of her greatest musical inspirations and closest friends, Kate Gaffney released The Coachman, her “dream record” that garnered national raves. Produced by Barrie Maguire (The Wallflowers, Natalie Merchant, Amos Lee), The Coachman includes contributions from several esteemed musicians, including Steve Kimock, Greg Leisz, Jackie Greene, Andrew Lipke and The Innocent Criminals.
After years of solo performances on the road and playing with various backing bands in Philadelphia and upon returning to Sacramento, in San Francisco Kate grew her musicianship with various collaborations during “the Kitchen Sink Sessions” (2009/2010), a long-standing Thursday night residency at S.F.’s Connecticut Yankee that included some of her current bandmates, in addition to other Bay Area favorites like Dave Brogan (ALO), Chris Haugen (JamBay), Joe Kyle Jr. (Waybacks) & Ben Jacobs (Grateful Bluegrass Boys). Kate can be seen playing with some of these musicians and other music friends in pickup projects and collaborative gigs. Gaffney has released three albums: Highways, The New Then, The Coachman. She has opened for a variety of touring acts, including Todd Snider, Xavier Rudd, Chris Smither, Carolyn Wonderland, Jackie Greene, Karl Denson, Kaki King, Richie Havens, Elephant Revival and Dead Winter Carpenters. 15 years after first stepping on stage, Kate continues to captivate audiences with her voice, songs, and stage presence.