Kate Hart, who was nominated for a Grammy for her 1990 debut disc and who led the extraordinary Detroit Women project for a long while, has self released the wholly hypnotic Alone Again with Friends on her own imprint. Featuring her smooth vocals, impressive original songwriting and arrangements, and a first-rate crew of players, the core of which is the award-winning Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones, with a pair of Detroit Women and a trio of Seattle Women sitting in, this is exquisite front to back. The opening “Bowin’ To the Main Man” is slinky and riveting. “Bad Girl Blues” could have been a Victoria Spivey outtake – in fact there is a good deal of classic blues-revisited that informs the bulk of the project. “You Are Bothering Me” exudes clinking glasses and a smoky room, “Snooze You Loose,” the swingin’ “Albaturkey Blues,” “Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed,” and the clever “Boogie Woogie Food Menu” are standouts, but there’s nothing here that doesn’t dazzle.
~ Mark E. Gallo
Alone Again With Friends is a Grammy nominated CD that contains a panoramic selection of 14 original numbers. Backed to perfection by the Jewel Tones lead guitarist Doug Deming, Hart sashays through the "Scratch My Back" funk of "Bowin' To The Main Man," a classic woman's lament and the strutting, gospelly "Two Plays For A Quarter" that lauds the healing power of the blues. "Bad Girl Blues" finds Hart all silk and satin as she pouts and swings her way through the jazzy changes in a way that would make Dinah Washington envious. In comparison, she pleads her case with a heavy heart like a modern day Memphis Minnie on the slow, slide guitar-driven "Living With Blues."
~ DWM Music Company
Five Stars – Alone Again With Friends is a great curl-up-by-the-fire-and-let-your-mind-drift set. Hart's voice can be clean as a razor blade or as smoky as twelve-year-old single malt, and the arrangements and musicians all work together to make a strong and cohesive whole. The songs range from blues to fifties-style jazz (back to that curl up by the fire thing). Special kudos to Dave Morris's harmonica, which feels like an extension of Hart's voice. Everyone else gets a chance to stretch out, too, and all the solos are both good and good fun. This CD is a real gem.
~ Steve Liskow
Alone Again is a New Classic ~ Five Stars – I’ve always loved Kate Hart’s work from Seattle Women, her solo Queen of the Night, and even a little of that quirky Lucy Mongrel work, but her Detroit Women period was my favorite – until now. Kate Hart’s Alone Again With Friends is fantastic! Listen to the band and you’ll be blown away. Add in Kate’s remarkable voice with its power, range and timbre and you have a real hit. And unlike much of the music today, the songs are incredibly well written. They’re funny or sad or evocative. They’ll stick with you.
~ Online Blues lover
She's carryin' that tune in a big swingin' blues bucket … This CD is my introduction to Kate Hart, and it's a keeper. She's backed up by a good blues band called the Jewel Tones. You can always find their footprints in the sand when Kate frequently decides to grind off-key a la Mae West. (She's funny.) About an hour of good blues and variety. Nice harmonica, piano, bass, guitar, and more. The band is right on, but if you have perfect pitch, Kate's singing style may be a bit much for you at times.
~ Deal Oz Review http://www.dealoz.com/Alone_Again_With_Friends/Hart,_Kate/0880925110325/16043144/d)
“A great album — marvelous warm voice with that kind of feeling for blues that only a few have in their timbre! She’s got it all! Her voice, together with fantastic sidemen on harp and guitar, makes this a great, fantastic album! I can only say: buy it you won’t regret it.”
Bernhard Schulte, Ems-Vechte-Welle, Bernd’s Blues Corner, Germany
“ALONE AGAIN WITH FRIENDS >> I love it!! .. sure has the real feeling and is completely timeless ..!! .. and I guess it's *important* to know that I stopped listening to *woke up this morning* Blues a long time ago ...bores me to death ... if you know what I mean ... back with playlists! ..and many thanks for a GREAT release!!
Cheerz, Lord Litter, Radio Marabu Network, Berlin, Germany
The opener "Bowin' to the Main Man" is "bluesy, beautiful” and the background of this song is “magical and riveting". … "add to that the even stronger work on "You Can't Go Up Until You're Done Going Down" and the boogie woogie of "Boogie Woogie Food Menu" and you know immediately that this is a varied disc and one on which Kate Hart demonstrates her great talent as songwriter.
"Beautiful voice, bluesy, jazzy singing… Kate Hart has it all!!!" Rootsville e-zine, Belgium.
"Women headliner cranks out the foot stompin' blues.."
Patrick McDonald, Seattle Times
"Some people would question the wisdom, much less the need, of bringing yet another female blues singer into Antone's. But Kate Hart, a vocalist with a big, bold and brassy approach, supplied a good argument for her appearance at the club Saturday."
Michael Point, Austin American Statesman
"Kate Hart from Seattle is a particular favorite of mine. This lady hustles, believes in the blues, goes the distance. TWO PLAYS FOR A QUARTER activated the audience to dancing and whistling.allowing Kate to demonstrate her considerable range. I hope she'll be coming back soon."
Jean Stanfill, Portland, Oregon Music Critic
"I just got yesterday your multi-awaited R/B disc, and I was beautifully surprised by your musical strength which provides such a warmly, soothy feeling for the adults as well as for teens..., you have all my appreciations for making this release available to me, thank you sincerely once again. You can trust me for promoting your releases, and/or Joe' recordings"
"The Bluestars are great. I think Kate is on her way to fill a definite vacancy in female blues as well as a qualifiable contribution to the blues genre."
Richard Contreras, Inner Ear, San Antonio, Texas
"...with import deals secured in England, Germany, Benelux, Scandinavia, France, Japan and Itlay plus several licensing agreements for new blues artist Kate Hart..Arnold Caplin, president of Biograph Records reported 'the fastest and best business I've ever had here'."
Market Round-Up, Midem '9'
"The main attraction is Hart's lung power, which blasts out every number with impressive authority..the players are solid."
Geoffry Hines, The Washington Post
"Getting a lot of airplay and a great response."
KZFR, Chico, CA
"In Top 10 playlist."
KHSU, Arcata, CA
Blues Alive Magazine
"Kate Hart & The Bluestars are great!"
Music Unlimited, Arlington, Texas
"Wonderful, receiving in-store play."
Metro Cd's & Tapes, Arcata, CA
"Kate Hart's release will do very well - even outside our two blues shows. In top ten."
WCVF, Fredonia, NY
"Kate Hart is a valid addition to the blues community of the 90's! Excellent release!"
CKLN, Toronto, Canada
"Hard workin' Seattle band."
Blues Access Magazine
"Tonight I Want it All, by a Washington State-based band, Kate Hart and the Bluestars. As Ms. Hart's big voice soars from a hoarse whisper to a brassy shout, Caplin (President of Biograph Records) shows how deeply he cares about the music .he edges up the volume until Ms. Hart's big voice fills his little office."
"Great material. In top-20."
WPFW, Washington, D.C.
"On regular playlist."
WFMU, East Orange, NJ
"In Top 20."
WXUT, Toledo, Ohio
"Really enjoyed CD, receiving significant airplay."
CJSR, Edmonton, Canada
CMFU, Ontario, Canada
"Kate's growth as a leader in Northwest blues is clearly demonstrated on this CD. It's an outstanding sample of Kate's vocal and band leading abilities."
Marlee Walker, Blues To Do's
"Kate Hart, gutsy rhythm and blues vocalist, will showcase her new album at the Winthrop Palace this weekend. For the best in rhythm and blues, Northwest style, catch Kate Hart and The Bluestars."
Methow Valley News
"Kate Hart, vocalist for that high impact group out of Seattle, the Bluestars, goes the distance and delivers a high energy performance that leaves you feeling good. You want credentials? She's been compared to Koko Taylor, Denise LaSalle and Bessie Smith. Kate Hart was the first white artist to sign with a subsidiary of Motown at age 19. She's a mover and a shaker; she's a blues mama shouter and she gets the job done."
Jeannie Nelson, Cascade Blues Association
"Kate's a hot blues mama.this soulful lady who picks connoisseur blues tunes to walk out in classic style from Chicago to Motown."
Paul DeBarros, The Weekly and Seattle Times
"A talented gutsy lady who knows just what she wants. Hart fronts the tightest band on the scene."
Jim Hamilton, Freelance Journalist for the Seattle Times & Seattle P.I.
"...Kate Hart, an aggressive sultry vocalist with a Bette Midler flavor, evidenced by her penchant for Henny Youngman one-liners that bite. Hart, 24, is lead vocalist and has performed with Saffron and Mystic Siva, a rock group that released an album in 1972. Hart is musically experienced beyond her years, and her rendition of the Pointer Sisters' Betcha Gotta Chick, sounds like she is backed up by the entire Pointer Sister's clan."
"Kate Hart's big blues mama voice is such a contrast to the singers we hear in lounges today."
"...what is it about Seattle that draws such good vocalists? Kate Hart, Ernestine and Jane Lambert..."
Frank T. Dorritie, Producer - Concord Records
"Whoa!! This lady knows how to sing the blues. This sassy Washington State brunette has a voice that would make most blues singers sit down and take notes. Packed with feeling and emotion, Kate's vocals are full and mature with a range that allows her to sing the blues and gospel-influenced songs on her latest album with authority and confidence. Hart, who was nominated for a Grammy for Best Blues Album a few years back, has won numerous Northwest Music Awards and Washington State Music Awards for Best Female Vocalist, Best Band, Best CD, Best Group and Best Producer. Continuing to push forward, Kate has put together a solid collection of 11 songs on this album with the standout cuts being the title track 'Queen of the Night', 'Ain't Gonna Cry No More' and 'Two Plays for a Quarter'. All three of these songs have the potential to make Kate Hart a household name. Whether you're into traditional blues, gospel, R&B or boogie, Hart's songs are guaranteed to get you up and going. Kate Hart has to e considered one of the best blues artists in the world today, and with as much talent and determination as this woman has, you can be sure she'll be around for a very long time."
Katie St. James, Nightmoves Music
"...with just a wealth of singers in Seattle, I missed not seeing more of them like Kate Hart at the Bellevue Festival."
"Kate pulled this group of professionals together. Catch her!"
"Another show worth catching is blues belter, Kate Hart and her Bluestars.the Seattle singer, known for her wisecracking ways, always turns in a sizzling performance.she doesn't' sing, she entertains."
Lonna Baldwin, Spokane Chronicle
"Kate is another alumna of Lamont's/Levis 501 Blues stage at the Bumbershoot Festivals. Her dynamic and exciting performances have earned the raves of Seattle critics and local fans."
"As previously predicted, there weren't a lot of new blues acts to discover at the South by Southwest Music Conference, but there was no shortage of live talent deserving attention. First time Austin visitors, Kate Hart and the Bluestars, from Seattle, earned an enthusiastic response for a hard working set."
Michael Point, Austin American Statesman
"Kate Hart, an ever driving force organized Seattle Women in Rhythm and Blues. It has been a highly successful venture and has received much support."
"The queen of the night indeed. The lady wears it well. Kate Hart does a sparkling job with this CD. Hart belts out each number with a raw energy that gives the music power and depth. Her voice is strong, expressive and very sexy. Blues, rock, soul and some gospel influences are found on this ambitious recording. A tasty pu pu platter of get down and get funky good time music. Hart plays the part of a bluesy and sexy nightclub singer, romanticist, love and friend. All the hats are worn with a different ensemble to match. Want to get up and dance, swing or be lured into a sultry mood? This album will set the tone for a various entry of tasty delights. How can you miss with range like Tina Turner? Every song hits the bulls eye of my heartstrings...The group of musicians that help Hart along do a really nice job of pushing along the singer to get her ultimate message across to the audience. Hot and steamy heartfelt blues, whew! Just look at this lady, think she is having a good time? I think so. Everyone is in their element on this CD. I really appreciate what the artist had to say in her dedication in the liner notes. She states; "This album is dedicated to God, family, my husband, friends and my critters, all of whom I need to keep my life rich with all that matters.".....Hart has her feet firmly planted on the ground and knows what matters in life. It's obvious by the strength of her work that the priorities in life are in the correct order. The proof is the music people. You go girl!"
"Enjoyed the hell out of the CD - very tasteful job. I want to play it on my show."
Tom Cullen, Bucks County Blues Society
"I highly recommend that you spend an evening with them.Kate sings.with a powerful deep voice and together they present a dynamic style that's easy. You'll walk out appreciating them."
Linsley Merrill, Argus
"Just recently, I got a chance to hear Kate Hart's new album project. I was very impressed."
"Sultry singer Kate Hart at the Bellevue Music Festival. See her!"
Joan Anderman, The Weekly - Seattle
"Just received your CD's and was extremely impressed. Fantastic stuff...look forward to working with you"
Rod Moore, In Session - Australia
"If you like the blues, you are going to really enjoy Kate Hart and the Bluestars.a nice surprise. Kate Hart sings with a brassy approach with touches of a soft throatiness that blend nicely.pick up the CD and check it out. Hot Tracks: 'Tonight I Want It All, 'Blue Reverie,' 'It Seemed Like Such A Good Idea At The Time.'"
L.A. Popp, PoppMusic, Pocono World Magazine
"She's the Hart of the night.while strolling through Pioneer Square last weekend our group stopped for a moment to listen to a powerful vocal that drifted up the stairs to the sidewalk from the basement bar.that rendition of 'Respect' is worth the trip alone"
Gene Stout, Critic, Seattle P.I.
"Tom McFarland's 'Blue Reverie' is a brooding ballad that provides the heart stopper showcase for Kate's gutsy voice on this release."
Ray Varner, Living Blues Magazine
"They play a danceable brand of blues that is a little hotter than the music of most acts."
Patrick McDonald, Critic, Seattle Times
"My favorite thing is when she backs off her extremely powerful voice to sing duets with male vocalists."
Mark Bristol, Blue Suede News
"Congratulations to blues songstress Kate Hart, who has recently signed with manager Dick Waterman..who came out of managerial retirement to add her to the blues luminaries he's worked with, such as Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, and Son House. We already know what we love about her!"
Susan Waterworth, Editor, Washington Bluesletter
"Hart lays back into this set, sounding husky and confident. The highlights are the low down numbers..Hart's phrasing is superb and sophisticated..the overall impact of 'Tonight, I Want It All' is positive and exciting."
Roberta Penn, Critic, Rocket, P.I. and Biographer for Etta James
"Kate's voice is mature and emotive. She's capable of considerable range and never fails to convince you she's into the songs she's singing. The blues are alive and well and Kate Hart proves the genre has a future as well."
Alan Bechtold, Online Digital Music Review
"Kate...Just to say you that I have airplayed some 'Queen of The Night' themes on 'ROCHA'N'BLUES' Sat 21 show. The audience liked so much yours performances. (See playlist at the button) I am thinking to play some 'Seattle Women's' songs too, on Sat 28. Your music will have room in ours programs, ever...I love you"
Alberto Mus AM1570 Host of BLUESBOULEVARD, JAZZBOULEVARD, and ROCHA'N'BLUES shows.
"I just wanted to let you know that although we are still in our selection process, the staff has finished reviewing all of the Joe Records stuff. I'll be totally upfront: They loved it! The staff selected your track, 'Blue Reverie'! Congrats on making some great music!"
Dave Seigel, Executive Producer www.music4free.com