Album Reviews

Kaia Kater

Nine Pin

Artist:     Kaia Kater

Album:     Nine Pin

Label:     Factor Records

Release Date:     05/13/2016


Canadian Kaia Kater comes to the table with a sophomore release featuring fifteen tracks that showcase her own writing skills firmly at the fore, with a couple of traditional interloping arrangements to complete the full package. Her old-style, Appalachian frailing banjo-work is centerstage for the most part, coupled with her fine, soulful yet understated vocal delivery.

This is an album that is bound to appeal to lovers of traditional acoustic music with a Piedmont edge and background setting. In truth, it’s hard to ignore the quality, maturity and confidence Kater brings to this second-time outing just as it’s also near-impossible to avoid warm comparisons with the initial work of Rhiannon Giddens and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

While Giddens’ career trajectory, like her Chocolate Drop partner, Dom Flemons, is clearly on a high, Kater has yet to truly register in the popular, acoustic trad consciousness. However, on the basis of this excellent offering, this is a state of affairs that’s surely bound to change pretty quickly. Kater is surely a star waiting in the wings. Overall, Nine Pin is a true delight well worth cocking an ear towards. A wonderful and original lady and delightful music discovery, for sure.


-Iain Patience

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