Southern roots meet West Coast jams as a wave of new music from a Tallahassee native rolls ashore from California with the release of "Toward the Tide."
Katie Skene, a singer, songwriter and guitarist now living in Ventura, California, releases her sophomore EP on Friday, May 5. Skene's music blends electric swamp blues with jam-band psychedelia on her second record through her evocative vocals, personal songwriting and masterful guitar.
A 2011 graduate of Chiles High School, Skene has been studying and pursuing music in the jam-band and Americana world, sharing the stage with rock 'n roll legends including both Bob Weir and Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead), Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band) and Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes).
"I grew up performing in Tallahassee, playing blues in clubs around town, mentored by older musicians including Missippy James, Scott Campbell, and my older brother, Chris Skene, guitarist of local band Revival," Skene said in an email. "I cut my teeth playing at the one and only Bradfordville Blues Club, listening and learning from the best. I was glad to be able to hang there one last time this month, the final weekend it was open."
"I took that foundation with me to the west coast, where I delved deep into Americana songwriting and psychedelic improvisation," Skene said. " 'Toward the Tide' is the culmination of these experiences, melding my Southern roots with a decade spent on the west coast, infusing the twang of southern rock and blues with the cosmic sounds of California."
Currently, Skene performs with her own band, the Katie Skene Band, and collaborates with instrumental world music funk band, TV Broken 3rd Eye Open. Skene has spent years working with jam-band notables, including fronting jam-supergroup California Kind.
“She couples stellar guitar chops with a rich voice that ranges from a throaty blues sound to clear high notes that ring like bells,” said Rob Rushin in Flamingo Magazine.
"I still frequently return to Tallahassee, playing local shows, including most recently at the House of Music in December, and have continued to feel the support of the Tallahassee community over the years," Skene said.
The core band consists of John Molo (Bruce Hornsby & The Range, Phil Lesh & Friends) on drums,Brian Robert Jones (Vampire Weekend, Paramore) on bass, and Stewart Forgey (Pacific Range) on keyboards, with appearances by guitarist Sam Blasucci (Mapache), organist John "JT" Thomas (Rita Coolidge), singer and percussionist Alex Koford (Grateful Shred), singer Lauren Barth (Farmer Dave & The Wizards of the West), and percussionist Nate Ward (Pacific Range). The album was co-produced by Skene, Forgey and J.P. Hesser (Circles Around The Sun) at Castaway 7 Studios in Ventura, California.
Learn more at katieskene.com.
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Tallahassee native Katie Skene is out with 'Toward the Tide' EP