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Kate Wolf - The Wind Blows Wild

Kate Wolf
The Wind Blows Wild

The Wind Blows Wild.png

Currently only available on vinyl (LP).

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Compiled by Kate’s longtime musical associate, Nina Gerber, this album spans a wide range of time and music. The title song is the final one that Kate recorded (1986). Here are both live and studio performances all radiating the heartfelt magic of Kate Wolf.


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

Original Liner Notes

I first saw Kate perform in 1975 at a pizza parlor in Sebastopol, California. My brother told me I should hear this woman sing, that she was really good. That was the understatement of the century! Kate's soulfulness and music really went straight to my heart that evening and has remained there ever since.

After hearing Kate for the first time it became crystal clear to me that I had to become a musician, and my number one goal was to be in Kate Wolf's band. So I began my music career by taking lessons from Don Coffin (who was in Kate's band The Wildwood Flower), performing around Sonoma County with my brother Scott, and being the most dedicated Kate Wolf groupie around.

In 1977, I began touring and recording with Kate. I also began nine years of the most intense, wonderful, educational and exciting years of my life. Whether performing for thousands of people, or jamming in a living room, riding horses in the Telluride mountains or getting lost in the desert in 110 degrees, having heart to heart talks or getting fired from the band, there was always something to be learned from Kate.

Kate was my inspiration, teacher, travelling and musical companion, and a friend. She taught me to open up my "heart to the tears and laughter..." and believe me, there was plenty of both.
Her soulfulness and her musical is still, and will always be, in my heart.

Nina Gerber
October 4, 1988


Collection Produced & Compiled by Nina Gerber
Cover Photo by Karl Metzenberg
Design & Phototinting by Beth Weil
Special Thanks to Les Siemienuik, Tony Ferro, Robbie Osman, Lee Brenkman and the Great American Music Hall, The Freight & Salvage, and all the organizations and musicians who worked on this record.

Release History

1989  Kaleidoscope Records K-30
1994  Rhino Records 71485


Kate Wolf  vocals, guitar
David Balakrishnan   violin
Rick Byars   harmony vocal
Mansel Davies   guitar
Nina Gerber   guitar, harmony vocal, mandolin, harmonica
Lorin Grean   harmony vocal
Bill Griffin   guitar, mandolin, piano
Ford James   electric bass, harmony vocal
David Keif   acoustic bass
Robin Sylvester   electric bass
Alan Thornhill   guitar
Beth Weil   harmony vocal


The San Francisco Bay Guardian
Microgrooves column
May 31, 1989
Review by Derk Richardson
Kate Wolf: Posthumous record shows what we lost.

Kate Wolf, The Wind Blows Wild (Kaleidoscope).
What we lost with the passing of Kate Wolf in late 1986 is brought home with heartwrenching beauty on this first posthumous collection of previously-unreleased studio, radio and concert recordings. Longtime accompanying guitarist Nina Gerber selected this anthology of ten songs recorded between June 1979 and May 1986 (the last in Kate's hospital room). Some arrangements are as simple as Kate's guitar and vocal, some feature additional guitars, mandolin, harmonica, violin, piano, electric bass and double harmony vocals. All turn on a voice that is as honest and intimate as a lover's whisper in the night. Choosing a favorite track is impossible: How can you compare the simplicity of "Old Jerome" with the seductive sweep of "Statues Made of Clay"? Or lines like

     And you wonder if you're wrong
     and if dreamers don't belong
     Listen to the ones who love you best

with the deathbed birthday tribute to Wavy Gravy that asks

     Did you see him
     he was there to wave to you
     All those times
     you've needed him before
     You say this one shall lead you
     he knows we all must go
     The wind blows wild on the shore

Or Kate's "Rising of the Moon" with Utah Phillips' "Clearing in the Forest"? Apologies for less than perfect technical quality are unnecessary. If you need proof that every song, indeed every life, is a snowflake that belongs to the entire world once it is born or that "Love has made a circle/ that holds us all together," you need look no further than The Wind Blows Wild.