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Kate Isenberg | Gold Rush Town

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Folk: like Joni Rock: Adult Contemporary Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Gold Rush Town

by Kate Isenberg

Soulful vocals that can show-stop or whisper secrets; guitar riffs that make unusual chord progressions sound easy; and full-band arrangements of chamber-pop and tongue-in-cheek indie rock: ear- and mind-candy to play on repeat.
Genre: Folk: like Joni
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  Song Share Time Download
1. View of the Ocean
4:16 $0.99
2. Promiscuous Heart
4:01 $0.99
3. Seven-League Boots
2:57 $0.99
4. She's Gone Serious
3:13 $0.99
5. Never Say Never
3:30 $0.99
6. Sweetheart
3:46 $0.99
7. Robin
4:06 $0.99
8. Let It Be Small
3:46 $0.99
9. Kingpin of the Playground
4:39 $0.99
10. Fireflies Redux
3:20 $0.99
11. Birthday Shade of Blue
2:30 $0.99
12. Gold Rush Town
5:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Impeccable songwriting"--in the words of one reviewer--is what makes Los Angeles-based Kate Isenberg stand out from other girls (and boys) with guitars. On her second studio album, GOLD RUSH TOWN, Isenberg offers alternately thought-provoking and funny stories of life's ambitions and detours. With clear, soulful vocals that can show-stop or whisper secrets; guitar riffs that make unusual chord progressions sound easy; and full-band arrangements of chamber-pop and tongue-in-cheek indie rock, GOLD RUSH TOWN is both sophisticated and accessible. Isenberg's listeners, from her native Bay Area to countries around the world, play her award-winning songs over and over not just for the ear candy, but also the food for thought.

A former English major turned illustrator and animator, Isenberg is, at heart, a storyteller. Currently a graduate student at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television, Isenberg is moving toward an ever-richer, multimedia expression of her artistic perspective. GOLD RUSH TOWN's songs are like a series of short stories, with lyrics and instrumental soundscapes that convey a whole world, each with its own distinctive mood. The album was named a finalist for Best Lyrics in the Indie Acoustic Project's 2010 international contest.

Isenberg drew on a talented team to flesh out GOLD RUSH TOWN's multilayered arrangements. In addition to her core band members (Aaron Brinkerhoff, drums; Fergus D. Lenehan, bass), Isenberg enlisted Jon Evans (bassist for Tori Amos), of the Berkeley, Ca., studio San Pablo Recorders, as co-arranger and co-producer. Accordionist/organist/pianist Julie Wolf (Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco), trumpeter Erik Jekabson (John Mayer), cellist Marcie Brown, and clarinetist Zack Pitt-Smith, together with Evans on upright bass and lap steel, helped create a richer, more diverse sound than on Isenberg's previous releases. As a recording enthusiast and an accomplished composer, Isenberg conceived and finalized all of the arrangements in her home studio. The result is a collection of songs in which each instrument plays a character.

Growing up in the Bay Area, Isenberg began studying violin at age eight. In high school, she discovered the smart pop of Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, and the Indigo Girls. After teaching herself guitar in college, she began performing her own songs at top listening rooms as part of the duo Vice Versa, pushing the boundaries of her guitar playing to include alternate tunings. Her first studio solo album, THE TIME COMES ON HUMMING TRACKS, won devoted fans and critical acclaim (About.com "Best Unknown Folk Artist"; KFOG radio airplay; Indie Acoustic Project "Finalist, Best Singer-Songwriter Album of 2007"). Isenberg pushes her musical boundaries even further on GOLD RUSH TOWN, from her vocal technique to her ever-evolving instrumental skills (which now include electric and acoustic guitar, violin, banjo, and mandolin). The result is her most evocative, substantive album to date.



to write a review

Larry the O

Songs, voice, sound...what's not to like?
I bought this album after seeing Kate live for the second time (both times opening for Curt Yagi and The People Standing Behind Me, in which I play drums). I told her I'd buy whichever of her albums she really wanted me to hear, and she gave me "Gold Rush Town." How right she was. The first thing is always her beautiful voice, but listening to the album at home I was able to hear her lyrics better than live, and found the lyrics to have wonderful poetic color and her delivery great phrasing. The production on this album is full and energetic, but always supportive of Kate and her songs. This album has grabbed me more than any new music I've discovered in a long time. There are no weak spots. Buy the album, then go see her live. It will make you happy and it will make you feel. Thanks, Kate, and I look forward to sharing the stage with you many times more!

Emily N.

So good!
Isenberg's latest has a fuller, more pop-inflected set of sounds than "The Time Comes", with some brilliant mandolin/banjo/electric guitar additions and smart, self-aware rock [musical] references that are toe-tapping catchy. This is an album you can play 100 times and still see something new in the next time around, a fiercely original project that will make you rethink the role of narrative in contemporary music (or, really, it will just suggest that you do, in a polite way, and hey, no pressure, if you are not in to rethinking these kinds of things, just sit back and enjoy, which you will). The work of both a master storyteller and a supremely talented musician!