Kristin Shout and Smoking Kitten | Thorny Devil

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United States - Illinois

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Rock: Americana Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Mood: Quirky
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Thorny Devil

by Kristin Shout and Smoking Kitten

Americana/Indie/Eclectic/Alt-Country - A little bit cowboy, A little bit cabaret.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Rise and Fall of Casper Jones
4:03 $0.99
2. Thorny Devil
3:48 $0.99
3. The Sixth of May
4:09 $0.99
4. Mobster in Costume
4:29 $0.99
5. Sleeping Chair
4:11 $0.99
6. Spaghetti Chanson
3:59 $0.99
7. Tale of a Texas Rancher
5:45 $0.99
8. Amphibian
3:54 $0.99
9. Ride
2:55 $0.99
10. Dimanche
8:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The music of Kristin Shout draws from influences ranging from the cabaret tunes of Kurt Weill to the folk rock of Neil Young and the "alternately brazen and moody vocals of PJ Harvey". Although her voice has been compared to performers ranging from Karen Carpenter to Lucinda Williams to Edith Piaf to EmmyLou Harris, her vocal color and songwriting style is uniquely her own. Paul Barile of Chicago Arts and Entertainment confirmed, "Her combination of fearlessness and talent result in sexy, dark songs that are as ageless as they are intelligent."
Kristin's formative years were spent in North Carolina and Nebraska, but her music career started on the streets of Paris in 1994. Over the next five years, she traveled and played in such diverse European countries as: Belgium, Holland, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and, of course, France. Her music is a mish-mash of all of her influences: Indie yet Americana with a European flavor -- A little bit cowboy, a little bit cabaret.
Prior to her journeys overseas, Kristin was a member of the ensemble that won the 1991 National Poetry Slam and received a fellowship award from the Illinois Arts Council in the field of performance art, which enabled her to stage her well-received one women show "Screaming to be Free from the Icon Tree." Her history in poetry and performance is evident in her theatrical lyric style. According to Barile from Chicago Arts and Entertainment, "Through stark originality and adherence to musical integrity, Shout's music has grown to be yet another facet in the jewel called Chicago's music scene".

Shout can be seen performing with her band, Smoking Kitten, which was voted the best new band in Chicago in New City's "Best of Chicago" 2002 Reader's Choice poll. They have played at some of Chicago's most acclaimed original music clubs, such as The House of Blues, The Abbey Pub, Schuba's, Double Door and Martyrs'. She has shared billings with Grammy nominated vocalist, Abra Moore, Golden Globe nominated songwriter, Dave Baerwald (Tuesday Night Music Club), Soul Asylum, Nash Kato, Jay Bennett (Wilco), Scott Lucas (Local H), Fastball, The Spin Doctors, Josh Joplin, Kelly Hogan, Tim Easton, Leon Russell, The Alarm, Kasim Sultan (from Utopia) and Amy Rigby.

Backing Kristin Shout is Smoking Kitten: Doug Brush (vibraphone and assorted percussion), Brian Wilke (pedalsteel), Greg Nergaard (bass), Melissa Ziemer (backup vocals) and John Knecht (drums). Smoking Kitten plays on Shout’s follow-up EP and her new full-length debut, "Thorny Devil" (January, 2006). They paint her cleverly crafted lyrics with rich instrumentals that are cinematic on the open westward roads or on the couch after dusk.

In "Thorny Devil", Shout's diverse influences can be clearly heard. "The Rise and Fall of Casper Jones" is a Johnny Cash-style ballad while "Spaghetti Chanson" draws forth the emotional cabaret style of Edith Piaf . In contrast, "Tale of a Texas Rancher" is a traditional country ballad in the vein of EmmyLou Harris or Lucinda Williams.

In response to Kristin's debut EP, Carter Moss from the Illinois Entertainer added, 'This EP allows Shout to showcase her strong and diverse vocals, and leaves a reason to look forward to her first full-length release." Anna Maria Stjärnell from said, "Shout lets out soulfully wild vocal inflections like there's no tomorrow. . Her deep, rich vocals and strong songs impress. . .there's enough here to herald the arrival of major new talent."



to write a review

anna maria stjärnell

It is fierce, passionate and I strongly recommend it to almost anyone.
a Review by Anna Maria Stjärnell

I wrote about an EP by Ms. Shout a few years ago and was impressed. It was a class act, and thankfully so is this full-length debut.

We get a country flavour alongside the cabaret stylings.

Opener "The Rise and Fall of Casper Jones" is all mariachi band grandeur alongside Link Wray guitars.

The title song sees Shout singing passionately to a softer backing. She and her band have a real creative synergy on these songs.

"Mobster in Costume" is a cabaret track with words of crime and an addiction to danger. Shout s a superior chanteuse in any style and this suits her well. The lonesome sound of "Tale of a Texas rancher" is deeply moving. Shout's voice approaches the longing of Lucinda Williams.

Kristin Shout and Smoking Kitten's debut is fierce, passionate and I strongly recommend it to almost anyone.

Posted on February 23, 2006

Jenny Alder

Eclectic collection of songs which would make a great soundtrack
Thorny Devil is the debut full-length album that opens a door into the intriguing world of Kristin Shout, who wears her diverse influences on her sleeve and who brings her experience of performance art and poetry slams to this compulsive record. The songs are intelligent and arresting, and reflect her travels from North Carolina to Chicago via Paris and a whole load of European countries, an influence strongest on “Amphibian” and of course on “Spaghetti Chanson”, sung in French. There is a strong cinematic feel, from the outlaw epic “The Rise And Fall Of Casper Jones”, to the cabaret style of “Spaghetti Chanson” and the country ballad “Tale Of A Texas Rancher”, which evokes long dusty roads and tumbleweeds and sees Shout coming on more Lucinda Williams than PJ Harvey. Shout draws you into her stories with her lyrical and vocal dexterity, and seems to be able to subtly alter her voice and persona from seductive temptress to melodic country girl to suit the songs, mutations ably supported by the sympathetic backing of Smoking Kitten.