The bio of Edmonton’s Kat Danser, a singer-songwriter with a Polish-Gypsy heritage, reads a bit like a CV.
As well as providing a list of her Canadian musical awards we are also supplied with her educational record:
- a graduate student at the University of Alberta
- a PhD in Ethnomusicology
- presenter at conferences throughout North America
For good measure, we even have her mission statement: "My primary goal is to use music as a space for personal exploration and as a method to strengthen intercultural relationships".
Her fifth album is described as "a steel belted radial easily flexing between a dusty gravel road and a fresh coat of asphalt". This is a fancy, not to say obscure, way of saying that her swampy blues tunes are mostly about life on the road.
Grinding guitar licks and a wailing harmonica dominate tunes that feel a little too much like 'blues by numbers' to ring true. Danser's voice is altogether too refined to convince the listener that she follows the hard 'n' fast lifestyle set out in the songs.
She checks in at Memphis, Tennessee, gets the Kansas City Blues, rides in a Chevrolet Car and, in the title track, tells us that "I've loved every road I've ridden on".
As a successful academic and contented traveller, when she sings "I've got the blues", I get the feeling that she's merely checking into a musical genre rather than any exploring any deeper emotional territory that comes with it.
Kat Danser's website