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Kate Wolf - Safe At Anchor

Kate Wolf
Safe At Anchor
1979

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Tracks

Listen to 1-minute clips here or full songs on YouTube and Spotify.

Original Liner Notes

These comments start at the point where most end, since to me the work of Kate Wolf is quite indescribable.

Kate Wolf has a naturally gorgeous voice; a deep, rich, beautifully tuned vocal instrument. Just listen to the first four bars of the opening track: “Here I stand alone again, reaching out across the room”. Kate’s voice is immediately personal, poignant and divinely inspired . I would be more than a little dishonest if I didn’t admit that, to me, anything Kate Wolf sings with that voice is going to sound good.

Perhaps a good point, right there, to conclude the notes, but there are other things to be said.

You can learn something about a composer-lyricist who performs her own material by noting the tune tiles. Kate quite obviously treats her songs as very intimate expressions of her feelings. Feelings toward the world with which she has chosen to surround herself, and feelings toward those who share that world.

All of the songs, here, are Wolf compositions; each is orchestrated by the instrumental ensemble’s unusual piano player, Bill Griffin.

Griffin, as you will note from the very first stanzas, has a feeling for Kate’s voice – he treats it with affection, supporting it (indeed fondling it) with original and enhancing instrumental mixes. The mandolin-accordion blending on “Safe at Anchor”, the violin-steel guitar combination on “September Song”, the pair of guitars under the Celtic harps on “Seashore Mountain Lady”, etc. These are not just strokes of ingenious musicianship, they are clear signs that Griffin has a feeling for Kate’s voice and for her compositions.

I am often erroneously typed as a “jazz critic”, so when Kate asked me to write some comments for this LP, I was both surprised and flattered. “Why me?”, I asked. “Because I think you have a feeling for my music”, she said.

She was, and is, right.

– Philip Elwood, Music columnist, San Francisco Examiner


Credits

Produced by Kate Wolf & Bill Griffin
Musical Arrangements: Bill Griffin
String Arrangements: Dan Rubin
Engineer: Bob Shumaker
Mixing: Kate, Bill Griffin, Bob, Tom, Jeff & Nina, all together
Mastering: Jim Sintetos at Kendun Recorders, Burbank, California
Original Album Design: Ted Sharpe
Photographs: Ron Blanchette
Recorded at 1750 Arch Street, Berkeley, CA March 5, 6, 7 and April 10, 1979
Special Thanks to: Jeff Alexson, Tom Diamant, Stuart Gordon, Barry
Olivier, Barbara Ehrenberger, Janis Campbell, U. Utah Phillips, Nina
Gerber, Max & Hannah Wolf – You all know why

Release History

1979  Kaleidoscope Records F-11
1994  Rhino Records 71481
2017  Owl Records OWL-008

Musicians

Kate Wolf  Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Nina Gerber Guitar & Mandolin
Bill Griffin  Mandocaster & Piano
Jim Nail  Accordion
Peter SiegelPedal Steel Guitar
Dan Rubin  Violin & Violectra
Darol Anger Cello
David West  Guitar
Cyrus Clarke  Guitar
Christopher Caswell  Celtic Harps
Rick Byars  Harmony Vocals
Bill Amatneek  Bass
Todd Phillips  Bass