August 2007 ~ Article by Sarah Dalgleish
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
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
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
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
What’s your Mum or Dad’s favourite record/song and why do you
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
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
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
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
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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