Kathy  Boyd


Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising

Specializing in festivals, weddings, conventions, private parties and family events. . . .

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Bluegrass Music


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Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising Q & A

August 2007 ~ Article by Sarah Dalgleish

Your name:
Kathy Boyd.

The name of your band/act etc:
Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising

Where are you from?
Tualatin / Oregon / USA.

Your sound can be described as?

Hard driving original bluegrass/Americana.

Fill us in on the history - where did your band/act start, what changes and developments have happened along the way and where are you now?
The band formed a little over two years ago when Kathy Boyd decided it was time to take things to the next level and form a band with a vision to go international and a business plan to make that happen. Dennis Nelson replaced the original guitarist in September of 2006, bringing the final piece to the puzzle that makes up the unique sound of Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising. All members are songwriters (the band performs approx 97% original material). Mandolin/fiddle player Tim Crosby and banjo/Dobro player Tom Tower have performed together for over 30 years!

In early 2007 the band released it’s first CD Burning Down the House to rave reviews and airplay all over the world (including Mike Kear’s radio show in Australia!). The song Rhubarb Pie even spent some time on the “Rhapsody’s Most Listened to Music” list. The CD is available at www.cdbaby.com/cd/kb
In 2007 Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising truly went international by headlining the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival in Sooke, British Columbia (Canada). The year has seen the band traveling throughout the West Coast and British Columbia, bringing their original material and high-energy stage show to audiences at festivals, school assemblies and private concerts.

The band is currently in the studio working on new material and looking towards a more extensive touring season in 2008. They are working with festivals throughout the United States and Canada towards 2008 bookings, and are always open for further travels!

"Our goal is to take the music to wherever people want to hear us."

What’s your earliest memory of developing a passion for music?
(This is Kathy speaking) I grew up in a fairly musical household. We all – there were five of us – played band instruments and my sister and I both played piano. I was the church organist by the time I was in third grade (for a whopping $5 per Sunday, I was rich!). My earliest memory of developing a passion for entertaining was probably in 7th grade when I was chosen to sing an Olivia Newton John song for a school program. I also have spent time in musical theatre and am a public speaker for the Alzheimer’s Association and Odyssey hospice. Although I believe that music is what you are, not what you do, it is really the entertainment aspect of performing that holds my passion.

Your influences (musical, political etc) and why?
Musically, my greatest influences would be the pop of the 70’s and today’s current country music. The writings and compositions of my fellow band mates. The band tries hard to work on a sound that is original and doesn’t sound like anyone else, but you can definitely tell that Jerry Garcia, Ola Belle Reed and others have snuck into our sub-conscience!

What’s your Mum or Dad’s favourite record/song and why do you love/hate it?
My Mom: Rodger Whittaker. I found an old cassette of Rodger a few years ago and played it until it broke. His rich voice and storytelling ability should be national treasures!

Most memorable gig you’ve played and why?
Oh, that’s a tough one. The one that comes to mind is a series of school assemblies we recently did in Goldendale, Washington. The middle-schoolers treated us like rock stars and wouldn’t let us leave!

What’s the naughtiest thing you and/or the band have gotten up to on tour?
I wouldn’t say that we’re “naughty”, but things have gotten rather silly after too many days together!

Do you drink? And if so what’s your favourite rock ‘n’ roll recipe? If you don’t drink would you care to elaborate as to why?
Three of the four of us do drink occasionally. We played a gig for an Irish family about a year ago and they gave us this HUGE bottle of Maker’s Mark. We carry it around and it’s the official “band drink” for after gigs. While in Canada recently they introduced us to Fireball. Now THAT’S a drink!

What was the first record that you ever owned and tell us the story of how it came into your possession and why you loved it?
Anne Murray’s Snowbird was my first 45. I don’t remember how I came to own it, but I played it until it drove my Mom crazy! What did I like about it? It was mine, I love the low tones of Anne Murray’s singing, and it was a catchy little tune.

What’s the best thing about the music scene you are involved in and why?
The people. Plain and simple. I love the interaction and response from the crowd. I enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories.

What’s the worst thing about the music scene you are involved in and why?
The budgets of the folks hiring performers. They have not at all kept up with the cost of living. In our particular genre of music there are also a lot of bands who are happy to “pay to play”, which makes it even more difficult for professionals to make a living.

How did you get involved in the music scene you find yourself in now?
Years ago I led a girls choir and one of the Moms that helped out was a fiddle player. I started taking fiddle lessons from her and one day she asked if I would like to join a band. Bam! There I was, smack dab in bluegrass land!

Any parting words?
I am blessed to be in a band of true gentlemen who are incredibly talented. Our families support our goals and ambitions and we are having fun. My personal goal is to bring these gentlemen the recognition they so richly deserve for their talents. The fans, promoters, radio stations, webzines, print publications, etc. who have given us their attention are so appreciated. The teamwork, the shared vision and the deep friendships of Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising are invaluable. The fact that we all found each other and LIKE each other is a gift, and we all plan on riding this ride just as far as it goes!

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