Kathy Hussey | Moments of Wonder

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Folk: Progressive Folk Pop: Folky Pop Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Moments of Wonder

by Kathy Hussey

Progressive acoustic folk...poetic and lyrical with a myriad of musical influences from pop to bluegrassy-hip-hop.
Genre: Folk: Progressive Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. We Are The Day
2:52 $0.99
2. Emily
3:51 $0.99
3. The Same Mary
4:05 $0.99
4. Sing My Memory
3:10 $0.99
5. This Water
4:02 $0.99
6. Maybe Tomorrow
2:53 $0.99
7. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
3:48 $0.99
8. Sunset on the LaGaritas
3:45 $0.99
9. Other Side of That Hill
3:36 $0.99
10. La Bonne Glace
3:37 $0.99
11. Dim Flickering Light
3:18 $0.99
12. Turtle
4:18 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

"Soul-touching stuff..." -Alliance Entertainment

"One of our favorite finds in 2005...this album is truly a moment of wonder."
- L.A. Saeki, KTUH-Hawaii

"A bright, energetic, uncluttered sound..." - PicknDawg.com

"More gems from one of the most talented writers that ever wielded a pen."
- Mark Wehner, Americana Tonight

Award-winning songwriter Kathy Hussey returns with her third and most engaging project to date. Featuring performances by Tim O'Brien, Bryan Sutton, Andrea Zonn, Byron House, Mike Henderson, George Tidwell, Bob Mater and others, it's a provocative blend of progressive genre-busting acoustic music. Kathy's songs are portraits of people and places, painted with heartfelt honesty.

“Folk Medicine”

– maybe that’s the best way to describe Kathy Hussey’s music. Let’s just say there’s no better elixir to counteract the occasional ills of the songwriting scene -- the preoccupied navel-gazing, the world-saving, and the love-lost-lamenting -- than a healthy dose of Kathy’s insightful and inspiring songs.

Where some cling to tired cliches, she invigorates the listener, spinning stories that are fresh and involving, and delivering them onstage with charm and abundant personality. Her songs channel others, giving voice to the abandoned dog, the child within a 90-year-old woman, the French ice cream vendor, the earth itself. She knows the important light isn’t the spotlight on the singer, but the one shed on the truth.

Kathy comes from everywhere, tapping into her four-corners-of-the-country upbringing and her self-described “wonder-lust” to turn out a wide range of compelling characters. And why not? Her own story is compelling. One of identical twins, adopted at birth. A hopscotch childhood, always the “new kid.” The high school for rodeo hopefuls. The college commune. The bartending. Every stop full of new things and people to try to figure out.

Kathy’s songs come to life, because she's immersed in it. She’s a trail guide, a horsewoman, a tie-dye teacher and a leader of songwriting workshops for kids. She connects with the things that connect us all, and the proof is in the accolades. Critical raves for her three self-released albums. Festival performance honors at Kerrville, Telluride and Suwannee. Songwriting awards from Mountain Stage Newsongs, American Songwriter Magazine, Just Plain Folks, and the Grand Prize from the 2006 Great American Song Contest for “The Same Mary.”

“Folk medicine.” Hmm, could be. Consider the evidence. Endorsed by the wisdom of the elders. Natural, with a finger on the human pulse. Stimulates the brain and examines the heart. Dispensed with care and humor, often enough on a house (concert) call.

Sure looks like the prescription from here. Whatever you want to call it, the doctor says that Kathy Hussey’s music is mighty good for what ails you.

Awards and Recognition for "Moments of Wonder"

✴ Americana Album of the Year Nominee – Just Plain Folks Independent Music Awards 2006

✴ Top albums of 2005 (Lori Ann Saeki – KTUH, Hawaii)

“This new artist to the Station was one of our favorite finds in 2005. Kathy Hussey strums out sweet, earnest folk music with no pop pretensions. Some of the finest names in folk and bluegrass, including Andrea Zonn, Tim O'Brien and Bryan Sutton, join her on this CD. This album truly is a moment of wonder. Lori's favorite songs: Turtle, We Are the Day, Maybe Tomorrow.”

✴ Best Albums of 2005 (Music Under the Moss House Concerts)

“You feel like you really know the people in Kathy's songs, and that's the mark of a great songwriter. "Emily" and "The Same Mary" are some of the outstanding tracks on this CD.”

✴ Top 20 Albums on Folk/DJ June/July 2005

Recognition for individual songs from "Moments of Wonder":

✴ “The Same Mary”

•• GRAND PRIZE Great American Song Contest (3/07)

•• Winner “Best Lyric”
Just Plain Folks Independent Music Awards 2006

•• 6th place “Americana Song of the Year”
Just Plain Folks Independent Music Awards 2006

•• 4th place American Songwriter Magazine
Lyric Contest 2006 (May/June)

•• 5th place Mountain Stage Newsong Competition 2003

✴ “This Water”

•• Finalist - Telluride Troubadour Contest

•• Lyrics featured in book “A Walk Along the River:
A Literary Anthology of the Upper Rio Grande Valley”

✴ “Maybe Tomorrow”

•• Grand Prize Gum Tree Festival
Songwriter Showcase 2005 (Tupelo, MS)

•• 2nd place Suwanee Springfest
Songwriting Contest 2005 (Live Oak FL)

✴ “Sing My Memory”

•• Recorded by Carmel Sheerin and The Bluegrass Ravens
“#1 Bluegrass Band in Europe” 2005

•• Included in “European World of Bluegrass”
compilation (Raven’s version)

•• Used in stage production of “Sheherazade” Seattle , WA

✴ “We Are the Day”

•• Top 20 songs July 2005 Folk DJ charts


"Moments of Wonder's true accomplishment is its successful framing of top-rate story-songs. The singing is great, the playing is great, the whole record just sounds great, but the songs are inspired, and that's why we care. Kathy Hussey is an artist with something to say and the talents to say it in ways that resonate. The work as a whole draws from a myriad of genres and forges a shining example of what can happen when an artist in her prime gets coaxed into a recording studio with all the right collaborators. Good music leaves a mark, and Kathy Hussey's Moments of Wonder is soul-touching stuff." --Dan Schaefer, Alliance Entertainment


To make a Long Story short...

Kathy Hussey is a progressive folk singer/songwriter based in Nashville, TN. Her music ranges from pop-tinged folk to bluegrassy hip-hop, with traces of celtic influence – her songs paint vivid portraits, rich with character and narrative, and completely free of cliche. She is the Director of Camp Summersong (Nashville’s songwriting camp for kids), the Coordinator of the Riverbluff Festival’s Performing Songwriter competition, and travels the country performing and teaching songwriting workshops for both kids and adults. In Nashville, she is well-known for her 14-year stint as host of the city’s most innovative weekly songwriter gathering which features a “title of the month” exercise, group co-writes, and outdoor campfire circles all summer long. Songwriting accolades include a 2003 win at the Kerrville New Folk competition, top five spot at the Mountain Stage Newsongs contest, second place honors at the 2005 Suwanee Springfest and Grand Prize in Tupelo's Gum Tree Festival competition. Kathy has just released her third independent CD, Moments of Wonder, which is receiving folk radio airplay worldwide, and features performances by such acoustic music luminaries as Tim O’Brien, Bryan Sutton, Andrea Zonn and Mike Henderson.


The Long Story...

Ever wonder if you could change your life overnight? Wonder where all the time goes? What, exactly, is on the other side? What if you were adopted, or an identical twin? Wonder how you might say “topless” in French?

Inquisitive singer-songwriter Kathy Hussey has a serious case of wonder-lust. That is, she has an unwavering sense of wonder fueled by a passion for insight, travel and exploration. Nowhere is this more evident than on her new progressive-folk recording, “Moments of Wonder”.

Travel has always been a central part of Hussey’s life, based on her family’s constant relocation to accommodate her father’s “corporate nomad” occupation, but her history of displacement actually began with her very first breath. Hussey and her identical twin sister were born in Chicago to teenage parents and given up for adoption immediately after birth. Her adoptive parents didn’t think twice about the double-blessing and welcomed the girls to their new family. Growing up with stints in Dallas, Houston, St Louis, Cleveland, Arizona, Massachusetts and New York, Hussey was repeatedly cast as the “new kid”, searching for ways to maintain her unique identity, while somehow managing to blend-in to each new situation.

That search dictated Kathy Hussey’s career path, relying on music from a very young age to find her place in the world. Finally settling in Nashville, TN, Hussey diverted from her Hamilton College focus of Ceramics and Anthropology to fully immerse herself in her life-long preoccupations: playing guitar, singing, performing, and writing songs.

Applying a modern twist to the folk song tradition, and motivated by the “fit in but stand out” mentality of the consummate new kid, Hussey writes songs that are accessible, honest and completely free of cliché. Her influences include Jonatha Brooke, Shawn Colvin, Patti Griffin, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, the Grateful Dead and the “countless brilliant under-appreciated artists and writers I share the road with everyday.” Her contemporary, full folk-grass sound is complemented by her observational songwriting style and attention to detail. She says, “I have a sort of chronic fascination with people and their stories – my study of Anthropology in college and the way I observe and develop characters in my writing now, are both part of that same curiousity.”

Honing that observational process helped to establish Kathy Hussey’s music career with two self-released acclaimed CDs (2002’s “Stranger Than Fiction”; 1998’s “If Wishes Were Horses”) and a flurry of songwriting awards. She continues to share her discoveries on her new album, “Moments of Wonder” (2005) – a vibrant collection of stories with authentic characters and universal emotion.

The vignettes on “Moments of Wonder” present both still-life and animated images that uncover and illuminate nuances most of us are too busy to notice. From the quaint melodic call of a French ice cream vendor (“La Bonne Glace” - written & performed en Francais) to the wistful “love-lost” metaphor of a Colorado sunset (“Sunset on the LaGaritas”) and the underlying greed in a fight over water rights (“This Water”), Hussey reveals the hidden magic of the commonplace, the little mysteries of the mundane. “I think being repeatedly dumped into new situations with people I didn’t know, making judgements about them and then being proven wrong, over and over again, was a huge gift to me as a songwriter. There really are no safe assumptions. What I took away from all that is to mistrust stereotype and wait for people to reveal themselves in their own way. It is much more interesting, as a storyteller, to look for the unique in the context of the ordinary.”

It is that exploration of the ordinary and a need to differentiate that led Hussey to ponder the universal idea of finding one’s place in this world. “Emily” presents the true-life story of a dead-end bartender who dreams of owning a café and tells herself “that it won’t be too long until you are free” (Emily quit the bar and made her move the day after hearing this song!). In “The Same Mary”, the subject is in life’s twilight while mentally remaining “the pillow fight champion of the world/catcher of lightning bugs/bull frogs and garden slugs/climber of sky-tall trees.” The song is punctuated with an effectively time-shifting, cinematic, dream-like guitar riff. And recognizing the re-cyclical nature of life, Hussey sings, “Love may come and love may go/life may ebb and life may flow/remember me when I am gone/sing my memory…in your song” (“Sing My Memory”).

Hussey’s focused examination of the mystery of human experience is as crystal clear as her pure vocal delivery. Her unflinching acknowledgement of her own regrets and foibles prompts the listener to look within as well as around. With a nod to to her roving childhood, Hussey apologizes to old friends that she was “raised to leave behind” (“Out of Sight, Out of Mind”) but also muses that “a goodbye can’t help promising hello” (“Other Side of that Hill”).

With music ranging from pop-tinged folk to bluegrass-hued hip-hop, and the occasional suggestion of Celtic influence, “Moments of Wonder” appeals to the intelligent listener. The new collection was produced by Nashville session drummer (and husband) Bob Mater, engineered by Grammy-winner Bil Vorndick (Alison Krauss, Peter Rowan, Jerry Douglas, Ralph Stanley) and features Mike Henderson, Byron House, Tim O’Brien, Bryan Sutton and Andrea Zonn.

Dirty Linen magazine declared Kathy Hussey “a songwriter to watch.” Other recording artists and peers agree. An award-winning songwriter, Hussey has earned top honors in the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk Competition (Winner 2003; Finalist 2002); Mountain Stage Newsongs Contest (Top 5 Winner, 2003); Suwannee Springfest Song Competition (2nd Place 2005); and recently won the Grand Prize/Smith Vinson Award at the Gum Tree Songwriters Fest (2005) in Mississippi. Her songs have been recorded by Carmel Sheerin and the Bluegrass Ravens (“Sing My Memory”); E.G. Kight (“Skin Deep”); Natalie Cote (“If Wishes Were Horses”) and Tejano artist Anna Roman (“Whatever Happened to Us?”; “American Dream”).

On stage, Hussey’s warm energy, honesty and humor inspire audiences to listen with their hearts, and frequently share their own life stories with Kathy after the show. She performs most often as a solo act as well as with a full band or as a combo, has opened for Blues Traveler, Phish, Steppenwolf, 10,000 Maniacs, among others, and continues to perform with Dead Set, [a Grateful Dead cover band] when her tour schedule permits.

When the ever-ambitious Hussey is not on the road performing, teaching, or presenting her insightful tunes at songwriting competitions, she’s hosting her writer’s night in Music City USA which began more than a decade ago. It’s a distinct departure from the typical Nashville writer’s night and has earned a devoutly loyal following. “We do all kinds of fun things...there’s the title of the month exercise called Debut Tuesday, Campfire Circles, and Circle Work (a group-write where everyone contributes one line at a time around the circle).

Considering Hussey’s down-to-earth warmth and her innate curiousity, it’s no wonder that she has a strong affinity for kids, and they for her. Hussey has declared it her personal mission to “inspire, enrich and elevate” young people by encouraging them to express themselves creatively. She continues to meet this challenge working as the Director of Camp Summersong (Nashville, TN; since 1999); and teaching songwriting workshops for both kids and adults (Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp - Steamboat Springs, CO; Creede Arts Council – Creede, CO; Country Music Hall of Fame Words & Music Program – Nashville, TN, Kid Pan Alley - nationwide). Additionally, Hussey indulges in her love for the outdoors and horses as a trail guide, and an avid backpacker. She also shares her infectious creative spirit with hundreds of young women enrolled in Girl Scouts of America via her tie-dye workshops, earning her the affectionate title of “The Tie-Dye Lady.”

Hussey’s enthusiasm for life is exactly what inspired the title of her new album. In the lead track (“We Are The Day”), Hussey sings, “we are morning and twilight/we are darkness and highlight/ we are silence and thunder/we are moments of wonder.”!.

Hussey continues to anticipate whatever journey lies ahead and to write lyrics that remind us it is the questions themselves, not necessarily the answers, that provide our greatest moments of wonder. So, CAN you change your life overnight? What IS on the other side? According to track #9 of this latest CD, “What’s on the other side of that hill? I don’t know. But that’s why I have to go”. With any luck, your town is on the other side of that hill, and you’ll find Kathy Hussey there one of these days, sharing her stories, and gathering some new ones.

(By the way, “topless” in French is “les seins nus”, literally: naked breasts. Kathy sings about hers in the song “La Bonne Glace”)



to write a review

Angie Bosch

I love it and my kids love it too!
Not only do I love everything about this CD (songs, production and especially Kathy's beautiful voice), but it is one of the few that my kids will let me play when we're in the car. So she's cool with the kids, too! A really satisfying, lovely CD.

Sharon Gibson

Moments of Wonder
It is nice to hear real lyrics, real music. It is what music should be. It calms the spirit. That is what a true songwritter/singer is gifted with...thank you for sharing that gift.

Ian Schneider

Speed Review #2
Kathy Hussey was kind enough to let me go ahead with a Speed Review of her latest CD, ‘Mysterious Wonder.’ I admit up front that I spent a year going to the same small college as Kathy, and from hearing her live just as her career was launching was a treat. I have always thought and felt that Kathy has a special talent, and as fine as her CDs are, I urge anyone who can get out and see her LIVE to please so do. A true performer, Kathy!

Anyway, my “speed reviews” are objective. I give the speed exactly as it is on the CD—if anyone wants to know a thing about what the speeds may mean, what songs Kathy’s might fit it well with in a playlist, please visit my website-my mission—at .

Kathy’s latest is another great AMERICAN TRAVELING CD. If someone asked m e, what is it like to travel around the US with a guitar and family and friends in a state of wonder and joy, I’d say: get in a car, get on the interstate, and play Kathy’s Cs, especially her latest (although I think her “Turn On The Radio Daddy” from ‘If Wishes Were Horses’ is her ultimate composition for the free spirited joyful American enjoying the free highways and landscape and new people—but that CD too!).

All speeds are given as even eighth notes, as they were recorded, except for the two songs recorded live, as so indicated. (“BPM”=beats per minute.)

Tr#1-We Are The Day—93.5 bpm. Pure enthusiastic joy. The mandolins on both sides of the speakers, the DADGAD tuning, full voice, fantastic guitar strumming make this song a statement of the fullness of life to come.

Tr#2-Emily—77.5 bpm. A woman at the Meanspeed (speed of indecision) is sung this tune by Kathy as “a call to action” to get out of the bartending scene. The speed makes the song surreal—and though tee were many versions, none of which I heard, according to Kathy: “[this song made her get out of there the next day].”

Tr#3-The Same Mary—136.3 bpm waltz or 45.4 bpm, depending on which beatst you are focused on. Kathy really hits the nerve we all have: looking in the mirror and expecting to see that 17 year old—every time—and, for me, it’s like: who’s that old man in the mirror? This song is almost indescribably gorgeous and a celebration of life to the point where it is, to me, in the “Turn On the Radio Daddy” area—can’t wait for the waltz on the next CD!]

Tr#4-Sing My Memory—86.5 bpm. Rebirth. As suggested in my hypothesis. Done by Kathy with eternal grace.

Tr#5-“This Water”--~103 bpm; recorded live, accelerating naturally. A harshly worded song about the greed of some who abuse our clean water—Kathy points out that it takes more than a million gallons of water to keep one Arizona golf course going for the day.

Tr#6-Maybe Tomorrow—85.5 bpm. A song, “completely fictional,” about the procrastination one exhibits at the end of a relationship—perhaps to keep what is being lost open.

Tr#7-Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind—67.8 bpm. Kathy says it so well in her online (, ) liner notes: Kathy moved about once every two years as a child—learned to befriend with speed and ease—but learned to let go just as fast---and she, as she so eloquently states, “let go without realizing that the rest of the world doesn’t operate that way.” To me, a real romantic song—as in, it’s tough to leave you, but better to be the leav*er* than the *left behind*--so said, the romance associated with these relations come through.

Tr#8-Sunset On The La Garatis—65.7 bpm. Pure romantic love & affection.

Tr#9-Other Side of the Hill—75.0 bpm. Reminded me so much of James Taylor’s best, at a speed James gravitates toward—very much in the Fire & Rain, Carolina In My Mind, Country Road “sweet moving on free American mode. Pure Americana.

Tr#10-la bonne glace—92.3 bpm. Happily waitng for great French ice cream on a beach in the south of France, home of my dear sister in law Emma and mom to me niece Ama and nephew Julian. I love the way Kathy captures her take on the joyful vacationing French spirit.

Tr#11-Dim Flickering--~43 bpm. Recorded live, true tempo rubato (free time) with the speeds in th e40-47 range, many natural fermatas (natural rests), with gorgeous bass and trumpet accompaniment. Ad the song played, I thought, felt: SUBLIME! And there, next line, there was the word. Kathy’s most sublime track. Turn it on at 3 AM!

Tr#12-Turlte—89 bpm or 178 bpm, depending on your mood! Seems Kthy’s so excited for the return at 89 bpm that the natural “in 2” doubling to 178 is enthusiasm expressed.

For this review, Kathy asked me to ask permission of other artists insofar as mentioning suggestions for inclusion of songs in playlists. With all respect, speed is free, and if I ws not so respectful of Kathy I’d go right ahead and make lists as I did on my review of her last CD—after all, BY LAW, the artist owns the harmony, melody and lyrics to the song—but speed is free. If you are interested in adding Kathy’s songs to other songs it is easily done at .

1) buy this CD!!!!!!!;
2) buy “If Wishes Were Horses”;
3) buy “Stranger Than Fiction”;
4) Get in your car on a beautiful early summer day and cruise around our country!

Thanks you again Kathy for allowing these experimental reviews. I could only spend so much time analyzing same music over and over if it were most pleasing.


Ian Schneider

Dan Cunningham

I was attracted to this music immediately.
I was attracted to this music about 10 seconds into the first sound sample on CD Baby. There is a bright, energetic, uncluttered sound to this melodic folk/country serenade with a flavor of traditional rhythm and color. The lyrical image is well formed and engaging in each song. And she sings quite well too!


Strong album
I was able to see Kathy play live at the 2005 Springfest in Live Oak, Florida. I did some research before the show. To be honest, I wasn't that impressed with her prior albums, but her live show was excellent and her material came from her new album "Moments of Wonder." I can't emphasize how much I think she's improved from her prior albums to this one. Her songwriting, in particular, is top-notch. I'm always up for a songwriter that can weave a good story, and Kathy reels you in with songs like "Emily" and "The Same Mary." I'm looking forward to seeing where Kathy goes from here.

Tom Manche

singersongwritering of the first order...
Singersongwritering of the first order. Hussey's latest, her third, is a satisfying collection of thoughtful, melodic gems given just the right studio treatment--eschewing kitchen sinkism, but not too stripped down, either.
Ask five people what their favorite song of the bunch is and you're liable to get five different answers. To me, that's a sign of a great recording: bits of brilliance throughout, not a good song or two padded to album length. My favorite here is "I'm Still Mary". The elderly narrator's wry declaration of her sustained relevance and intact joie de vivre married with a cleverly cascading guitar riff (which Kathy masterfully handles) makes for a song any serious songwriter would boast of penning.
Oh yeah, and she sings 'em all great.