Good Night, Please.

Wisdom from Kate Schutt’s grandmother for when it’s bedtime, but people are still over, talking loudly and not taking leave – a kind, but stern: Good Night, Please. Kate shared this story at her intimate house show last week where we got to hear her, her guitar, and on occasion her father on harmonica and talented saxophonist, John Ellis.

House shows are my favorite way to listen to music, but I first heard Kate live on stage 3 at the Rockwood in December. Stage 3 is the closest you get to someone’s living room and she was there playing with the amazing Julian Lage for their new collaboration, Redstack. She warned in a blog post that the show would sell out. I tried to get a ticket too late and she was not wrong.

Committed to finding a way to see her live after hearing her album No Love Lost, I came across the post “Want to Sing with me Thursday night?” on her blog. I hadn’t sung in front of more than one or two people since my graduating sixth grade class sang Boyz II Men’s It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday at the school assembly, but it was my way in the door. Kate sent me the lyrics for the chorus to Our Legs Are Burning and said “We will be ummmmm … winging it!” This is one of the many reasons I will keep going back to see Kate. For her to open up her work to others and not know what she’s going to get is intensely vulnerable and Kate seems to let herself be vulnerable consistently.

I’m looking forward to seeing Redstack again too. The guitar call and response between Kate and Julian was an open window into a conversation they were having in a different language. Their authenticity pervaded the room and it was one of the best things about the show.

Postscript: From the work Kate had up around her studio, I also learned that she can sketch and draw. And also do things like the Redstack poster in the banner of this post.

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