Don't Let the Dogs
Songwriters will maintain that sad songs are the easiest to write. This may be true, but it's not the whole truth. Profoundly sad songs - those that climb up into your chest and make it hard to breathe for loneliness, and make your whole body ache like a fleshy, living and hurting and dying thing - these songs are one in a million. Richmond, Virginia's Liza Kate writes songs like this, but they are unassuming and deceptively brief, existing as a quick-lit candle and then gone, epigrammatic crystals of scene, of situation. Like the best writers of Southern literature, Liza Kate finds power in restraint, saying only what's necessary but meaning more than she says. 'I feel like I'm overstaying my welcome all the time,' she suggests, before silencing her audience with seemingly effortless music that may be devastating, or beautiful, or both. Her geographical history reads like a well-worn map: Texas, Florida, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Back to Florida, Richmond. She spent her childhood in constant migration and relocation, following the railroad routes of her father and the iron lines that employed him. Don't Let The Dogs tracks her movements through relationships, state lines, family ties, loneliness; it's an offering of the blues, a humble lesson in honesty and humility. Here, in the stack of snapshots, she is still. And you will believe her. Genres: Folk, Indie, Singer-Songwriter, Alternative Country, Southern Gothic RIYL: Will Oldham, Neko Case, Cat Power, Songs: Ohia, Lucinda Williams, Nick Drake, Neil Young It actually goes silent for a few moments when she begins to play. People turn to pay attention to Liza Kate, her gentle voice and guitar winning out over the clinking of bottles and barroom conversation. The whole place is captivated, and it is lovely to see. - RVA Magazine April 2009 Liza Kate is one of those rare breeds of people who can make the most beautiful things and be very nonchalant about it, while making everything look so effortless. In addition to writing some of the most hauntingly beautiful songs you might ever hear, she is also a profound photographer. Perhaps it's the way she carries herself - always so polite and somewhat quiet - when you get a glimpse of the music she makes or the pictures she takes, you feel blessed to have had some insight into the way she views the world. - RVA Magazine 2008 Year in Review.