Critics rave Katy Kiefer is back after a three year Hiatus with her best effort yet, Naked on Vesta Records. Her sophomore CD kicks off with Caught Up In Your Gravity which impacted radio in early January. Like her debut CD Kaleidoscope, the revealing collection is a well written library of songs featuring collaborations from Music Row's elite tunesmiths; Buck Moore, Jan Buckingham, and Natalie Howard who get 'naked' so to speak, with Kiefer under the gifted production of Grammy Nominated producer Jim Lightman (Indie Arie, Lee AnnWomack). Naked began shipping mid February and is distributed through IODA internationally in an environmentally friendly 'Eco-wallet' that Katy had requested her label use in manufacturing.
The title Naked is more than just a metaphor for the singer. After an extensive two year radio tour promoting Kaleidoscope nationally, she began stock piling an arsenal of songs, testing new material at writer's nights and enjoying her son, family and friends. Suddenly she became plagued with back problems. Two surgeries later, she was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. In pain, but obsessed with finishing her next album, Kiefer would lie down on co-writer's floors with her guitar to write. After months of grueling physical therapy she returned to the studio with 'new material, a new approach to life, and a humbling experience that yielded a more organic, raw, heart and soul, product' explains Kiefer who insisted there be no correcting or auto tuning on her vocals. She felt confident after years of study with famed vocal coach Renee Grant Williams that she didn't need or want it. 'I'm in a place where I no longer worry about making everyone in the planet happy, but rather here I am - love me or leave me. I'm more comfortable in my own skin and that translates into my music."
On Rainmaker, Kiefer found inspiration with hit singer/songwriter from Australia, Natalie Howard. 'I wrote with Natalie who is an amazing person and talented. Like many first writing appointments, I didn't know what to expect. As fate would have it, we were both in the dumps over personal relationships and almost cancelled on each other. Instead, after much laughter and tears, we opened ourselves up to recognising the place we were in and writing about what we needed to do to make a positive change in our lives."
Already spinning on 100+ Americana, Country, and College radio stations it is obvious that the passion and inspiration is not lost on others. Katy's heartfelt collection has not only crossed over genres but also crossing over continents with airplay throughout Europe and in Australia where she was nominated 'Best International Artist' in the MusicOz Awards. In the UK 'Rainmaker' impacted the Country Chart at #16.
Kiefer who's infectious humor and trademark wavy red locks light up a room, is a paradox of angst and gut wrenching emotion softened by an appreciative zest for life. This go around, her life as a single Mum is filled with a zestful joie de vivre, but stripped down of all that is not real and necessary. She's learned from life heard lessons, but manages to laugh at life and herself to boot.
She's quirky, fun, brave, memorable, refreshing and focused but not self-absorbed. Growing up in West Virginia in a family bursting in spirit and love, albeit not cash, was grounding experience. They later moved to Connecticut where there she worked on the family farm and surrounding apple orchards from age seven. "It taught me the value of things and gave me the determination to work hard for what I wanted. It helped me overcome a lot of obstacles later in life. Looking back, I really consider myself blessed to have had that type of upbringing".
Track Listing with information from Katy Kiefer herself:Baby So long
(Katy Kiefer, JR Brown, Natalie Howard)
I guess you could say this song was therapeutic for both Natalie and myself unlike 'Rainmaker' when we were still both hurting. By the time we got around to writing this song we were ready to "kick him to the curb". JR was an innocent bystander who just got dragged along for the ride with Thelma and Louise!Caught Up In Your Gravity
(Katy Kiefer, JR Brown)
If you have ever been in a relationship that felt like a never-ending rollercoaster ride then you'll be able to relate to this song. I think it's funny how we sometimes are drawn into such relationships like some uncontrollable force of nature. Much like the amusement park ride that is thrilling and even scary no sooner than you get off you think to yourself... hey, I want to get back on again! Forever Tonight
(Katy Kiefer, JR Brown)
We were having a conversation on how complicated relationships are these days and how people are always playing games. I jokingly made a comment on how great it would be if things were like they were before on-line dating, Jerry Springer, and reality TV shows. That was the impetus that led me to writing a song that I could hear one of my big influences, Janis Joplin, singing back in the days of 'free love'.Caged Bird
(Katy Kiefer, Jan Buckingham)
This hook came to me one day as I was passing by a pet store window looking at a small bird anxiously perched on its swing. I felt an affinity towards this caged animal and I heard this voice inside me say "I know why a caged bird sings". It was important to me to share a story that talked about finding the inner strength to prevail and break free from the environment that we might find ourselves contained within. Girls with Tattoos
(Katy Kiefer, Buck Moore)
I have gotten a lot of grief over the years from Mum, Dad and even some of my more conservative girlfriends over my tattoos. This song is so much fun and it's my way of thumbing my nose at folk who judge me or any woman for having a tattoo. Besides "boys love girls with tattoos
you know it's true".If I Were
Like many songs throughout history, this one is a personal story of unrequited love. When we were tracking this song Chris Carmichael brought me to tears with his amazing skills and poetic interpretation on the violin. I told him he was breaking my heart all over again!Rainmaker
(Katy Kiefer, Natalie Howard)
This is the first of many songs that I wrote with Natalie who is an amazing person and talented. Like many first writing appointments, I didn't know what to expect. As fate would have it, we were both in the dumps over personal relationships and almost cancelled on each other. Instead, after much laughter and tears, we opened ourselves up to recongising the place we were in and writing about what we needed to do to make a positive change in our lives. Shakin' The Family Tree
(Katy Kiefer, Buck Moore)
I describe this song as me 'embracing my inner sheep.' It was Buck who pointed out our common trait of being the 'black sheep' in our families and came up with the hook. I loved the idea, and of course being able to acknowledge and thank my family for their unconditional love and support and for putting up with me all these years. Darkest Part of Lonely
(Katy Kiefer, JR Brown, Derek Hollie)
Sometimes when you're in a bad relationship it never really occurs to you how bad it is until you hit the rock bottom of your emotional well. It's in that very dark moment that you experience a sharp, sometimes painful clarity and you realise what you need to do as a matter of self-preservation. We had a good time making fun of ourselves, sharing stories of good love gone way wrong and the stupid stuff we do when we are in it. Sweet Surrender
I'll have to plead to the fifth on this one. It was a beautiful experience that I wanted to commemorate
and that's all I have to say about that!So Not Right
(Katy Kiefer, Derryl Perry)
The title of this cut is another one of my 'Katy-isms' that you'll frequently hear coming out of my mouth. I had it written down in my 'hook book' for sometime before the right inspirations came along. All I can say is he was one of 'American's Finest' and well
it was the lease I could do for my country! I know
I'm 'So Not Right!'No Place Like Buffalo
(Katy Kiefer, JR Brown)
My co-writer brought this hook to me many months before I gave into writing it with him. It was very personal to him and a very daunting task for me. I finally was given the courage after ending a relationship where I had witnessed someone close to me struggle with the demon of addiction. It was a very emotional journey and I know that it gave him, myself and hopefully others that it touches some solace.After the Rain
This song was truly a gift from above. I woke up one day with an emptiness that was completely foreign to me. I couldn't understand why or what I was feeling or even where it was coming from. I got out of bed picked up my guitar and within minutes this song was pouring out of me. A couple hours later, I got a call from Mum and she told me that my cousin had passed on from his on-going battle with heart disease. I realised then, the song was meant not so much for me, but as a message of hope for those close to me and anyone struggling through stormy times. It's All Good
(Katy Kiefer, Elisa Vazzano)
This was one of my favourite hooks that I had floating in my head for a long time. I love using phrases that embrace how I want to live my life and sharing them with others in my songs. It's a great message and every time I sing it, it reminds me of the person I strive to be. Buy it now at