Album - Gold In California
Gold In California
A Retrospective of Recordings 1975-1985
This double album is a retrospective of Kate's studio recordings featuring many of her favorites. When Kate became ill, she began compiling this collection and finished it just before she became unable to work. Kate selected all the songs and photographs, and wrote the notes for the cover. Unfortunately, her passing came a month before the album's release. Awarded 1987 Best Folk Album by NAIRD.
Listen to 1-minute clips here.
Kate Wolf lead vocals, guitar, piano
Bill Amatneek acoustic bass, electric bass
Darol Anger violin
Norton Buffalo harmonica
Don Coffin harmonica, guitar, mandolin, harmony vocal
Paul Ellis fiddle
Nina Gerber guitar, harmony vocal, mandolin
Bill Griffin bass, guitar, mandolin, piano, mandocaster, harmony vocal
Ford James electric bass, harmony vocal
Daniel Jones pedal steel guitar
David Keif acoustic bass
Tom Lackner drums & percussion
Tom Lee acoustic bass
Jim Nail accordion
Todd Phillips acoustic bass
Tony Rice harmony vocal, guitar
Dan Rubin violin
Peter Siegel pedal steel guitar
Will Siegel dobro
Alan Thornhill guitar, harmony vocal
Beth Weil harmony vocal
David West guitar
Pete Wiseman acoustic bass
Martin Young guitar
1983 Kaleidoscope Records F-3001
1994 Rhino Records 71485
Original Liner Notes
Dedicated to all who have listened and made this music their own.
Deepest thanks to the nursing staff of the bone marrow transplant unit at UCSF, and to Wavy, Kathie, Lutie, Colleen, Barbara and my children, Max & Hannah, for emotional support.
I, like you,
love love, life, the sweet enchantment
of things, the celestial blue
countryside on January days.
But my blood boils
And I laugh with the eyes
That have known tears.
by Roque Dalton
(Poet from El Salvador)
January 27, 1942 - December 10, 1986 When Kate became ill with leukemia, she realized she would not record again for a long time, if ever. She began this retrospective project and finished it just before she became unable to work. Kate selected all the songs, the sequence and the photographs, and she wrote the notes for the cover.
This album is dedicated to the memory of Kate Wolf. We will all miss her.
Compiled by Kate Wolf
March 21, 1987
Members of Wolf’s sizable cult and the uninitiated alike will appreciate these unshowy yet potent songs.
by Phil Hood
For her fans it’s a must album: For those unfamiliar with her songwriting, it’s a good place to start.
by Jack Lloyd
February 27, 1987
Gold In California (four stars) ...a gifted songwriter whose voice glowed with warmth and a straight-on delivery that was pleasant if not overwhelming.
The Folk Song Magazine
Kate Wolf’s death was sad, not only for those who knew her, but also for those who never met her but who listened to her music. This album is a retrospective collection of Kate’s finest songs.
Kate made her music from events which other people might consider ordinary -- a hawk flying in the sky or a mailbox with the name “Emma Rose.” But Kate wasn't an ordinary person; she was a poet who conveyed her feelings with great sensitivity in her songs. She loved nature, and she loved people, and that’s what her music is about. The material on this two-record album, which was selected by Kate from previous recordings, has her signature country/folk sound. Most of the songs are the slow-moving ballads for which Kate is known. They drift slowly, easily, and comfortably, from “Across the Great Divide,” which describes an experience in Kate’s past, to “Here in California,” which tells of her life in the hills of her beloved home state. One song in particular, “The Lilac and the Apple,” reaches far beyond the genre to take its place as a classic ballad. In view of Kate’s untimely death, the song “Unfinished Life” is especially poignant. Among those accompanying Kate’s warm, alto voice are Don Coffin on harmonies, Nina Gerber on guitar, Bill Griffin on bass, and Paul Ellis on fiddle. This album is the final work of art by an extremely talented singer and songwriter.
by Ann Powers
There is a tenderness in American things, a tendency towards sentimentality that, when it manages to remain subtle, can be very moving. Kate Wolf’s music moved with then sentimentality, simply and without apology. Wolf’s presence in the Northern California folk scene centered the community until her death of leukemia late last year. Gold In California is a collection of Wolf’s music spanning her long and fruitful career. Throughout, Kaleidoscope Records have provided a document of Wolf’s deeply American, heartfelt art. The finest songs on this uniformly excellent collection tell stories of life and death in this country’s smaller places: tales of lonely old women in “Emma Rose” and “Telluride,” of ignored rural beauty in “The Lilac and the Apple,” and of enduring traditional values in “The Trumpet Vine.” Wolf’s art endures in these quiet evocations of a personal landscape, and this double album provides a special glance into her world.