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Morgan Co. songwriter cuts her first CD single

April 17, 2007|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Writing a new song always is in the works for Morgan County singer Kate Evans.

Her first single CD was released last fall with two original songs, "When Springtime Comes to West Virginia," and "For Daddy," and she has written about 50 songs so far.

Evans said she learned to play guitar at 14 after her father got his guitar for Christmas and she got interested. In music class, she learned how to harmonize.

"I loved that," she said.

There was always music in her Pittsburgh home, Evans said.

"My mother liked the 1940s tunes and my dad liked country and bluegrass."

Evans said she performed in Pittsburgh clubs in 1981 and was influenced by artists from the '60s and '70s like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Emmy Lou Harris and Jackson Browne.

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She is known for her strong vocals and solid flat-picking rhythm guitar.

"I remember jamming with a well-known fiddler at a friend's house near Uniontown (Pa.) many years ago. One song that Ernie played was "Orange Blossom Special," which built to a frenzied pace. He was amazed that I was able to keep up with him, which made me feel pretty good," she said.

Evans moved to western Morgan County in 1983 and has performed at area festivals and special events since 1988. Her music is a mix of classic rock, folk, blues, country and originals, and she introduced "When Springtime Comes to West Virginia," in the early 1990s.

"I was looking at early spring and remembering the sarvis tree covered with white blooms. I knew spring was really here, and it's such a joyful thing to see. It blooms before the redbud tree," she said.

Evans said she recently gave a copy of her CD to West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin when he came to Berkeley Springs.

"People tell me the song could become the new state anthem," she said.

Evans said in the past she did not push her original music.

"It always had a good response, along with "For Daddy," which captures early memories of her father, who died in 1990.

"As I went through all my original songs, I found I loved them as much as I did when I first wrote them. I want people to hear them because they still have something important to say. The old songs are timeless," she said.

Evans said she's working on a song about her mother, who died in 2004.

"She encouraged me to keep at it and would say, 'But what about your music?' Hearing her saying that was really a wake-up call to take time for my music," Evans said.

Evans is in the process of contacting people in the music industry for the CD promotion, and setting up performance dates, she said.

She records her music in Pittsburgh and is working toward completing a full CD with all original songs, including her latest, "My Blue Ridge Boy."

In addition to her songwriting, Evans wrote a one-act play, "Farther Along," which was produced at the Ice House Theatre in 2004. She writes short stories, and "Dancing on the Blue Moon" won first place in the Tri-State Writer's Guild literary contest in 1995. She is working on her first novel, she said.

Evans is a reporter for The Morgan Messenger and The Hancock News who has won awards from the West Virginia Press Association.

Evans will perform at The Red Guitar in Berkeley Springs on April 28 from 8 to 10 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the construction of the Berkeley Springs Bike and Skate Park (BS2).

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