Warm and down-to-earth in performance, Kate Long writes classic songs that have been recorded by dozens of artists and won national awards, including the International Bluegrass Music Association Song of the Year. Rooted in Appalachian traditional music, she branches into swing, blues and jazz. Her voice - which Rambles Magazine called “a rich, deep force” – is instantly recognizable, full of emotion and humor.
Kate creates insightful glimpses of ordinary people dealing with life’s dilemmas. She wants her songs to do four things: help listeners see the extraordinary in the ordinary, make them laugh, make them cry, stir them spiritually. A West Virginia native, she has developed a national musical following, and her songs have been recorded on four continents.
“Funny, spiritual, and very down-to-earth. There are many talented performers, but very few have Kate’s heart, wit and insight.”
– Cathy Britell, Seattle Folklore Society
“She writes with a depth of love and understanding that is all too rare in the world.”
– Laurie Lewis, Rounder recording artist
“Kate gave listeners a full evening of songs and stories that could have gone on and on…”
– Meryle Korn, Portland (OR) Folklore Society newsletter
“Her manner and stage presence were just wonderful. All the comments I heard were very good. It just felt like such a warm, living-room type of performance.”
– Barbara Svoboda, Baltimore Folk Music Society
Kate’s songwriting and performance are part of a life centered around words and music in many forms. She is a nationally-touring writing coach and a contract journalist specializing in health care stories that affect West Virginia’s low-income and elderly people. She has won national awards for her writing, radio production, songwriting, newspaper stories, and video editing.
Her songs have been recorded on four continents. She loves to combine performances with a creative writing or singing workshop. She has taught songwriting at writing camps such as the Swannanoa Gathering, the Augusta Heritage Center, the Appalachian Writers Conference, and the West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts.
With guitar wizard Robin Kessinger
“I have organized many concerts and have been privileged to hear some of the best musicians living. And never have I felt the warm glow I felt while listening to Kate Long and Robin Kessinger.” – Suze Marshall, musician and concert organizer, Vancouver, WA
Music: Social Service
Working as a disaster recovery coordinator, Kate learned firsthand that people can sing things they can’t say, and that music gives them something constant in a world turned upside down. She carried her musical instrument with her as she went about her business, singing familiar, meaningful songs with individuals, families and groups, helping them open up to talk, laugh, cry. She was so successful at this, the Missouri Interfaith Disaster Recovery invited her to come tour the state in a series of community meetings after a huge Missouri flood.
Kate can focus a performance on Music as a Healing Tool, drawing from her own experience and the experience of others, inbetween songs. She also gives Music as a Healing Tool workshops. She has presented that workshop at the National Association of Social Workers’ West Virginia conference and at various mental health centers.
Appalachian culture and music
"Kate’s witty, thought-provoking performance was enjoyed by all. She has the ability to tell a story that takes the listener down the road and to the front door. Kate touches everyone with her breadth of talent and subject matter. Her love of Appalachia and all that it means to her comes through in her music, writing and humor.”
– Candy McBride, director, Women of Appalachia conference,
Ohio University, Zanesville
Social service: music that helps people deal
“Through her music, she made people laugh and helped them cry and think about the deeper meaning of what they’d been through.”
– Lee Whiteside, Director, Missouri Interfaith Disaster Recovery