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  TVS's Kathy Kennedy Featured in SF Chronicle!

Voice Coach Kathy Kennedy Helps People Sing

Edward Guthman, Special to The Chronicle

Kathy KennedyPaying the bills on a pop singer's income is a rocky road. That's what Kathy Kennedy, a Bay Area music veteran who sings with Big Bang Beat and the Soul Delights, discovered.

In 1995. Kennedy became a voice coach to supplement her performing income. She sees students at her home in the Berkeley hills, and also at the Voice Studio on Potrero Hill, which she co-owns with singer Katie Guthorn. Kennedy is single, and was born and raised in North Oakland....

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  Katie Guthorn - CD Review: Why Not Smile?

Accolades for Voice Coach Katie Guthorn!

Reviewed by

Kathie Guthron's - Why Not Smile CD CoverYear: 2012

Style: Jazz Vocal

Label: HagCo Records

Producer/Arranger: Tim Haggerty.

Musicians: Katie Guthorn - vocals; Tim Haggerty - keyboards, bass; Terry Haggerty - guitar; Aaron Haggerty - drums; Armen Boyd - tenor sax.

CD Review: Katie Guthorn sings with a perennial smile in her voice that makes her a delight to listen to. She can flash it with 100-watt intensity or bewitch you with a come hither simper that takes your breath away. Generally however, her songs are emotionally bright, energetic and swinging; but she can also put a sad song over like it was written especially for her. Covering different moods and tempos with ease, Guthorn is admirable and engaging in her interpretation of the works of Ellington, Strayhorn, or Rogers and Hart, She adds new meaning to an old Ray Charles hit, and puts on her biggest smile for a Charlie Chaplin evergreen to add an emphatic exclamation point to her new CD: Why Not Smile?

Guthorn commences an extended musical performance narrative that has it roots firmly planted in a jazz experience that wends it way through her family; grappling with jazz tunes as a kid; and doing a stint at a radio station with an exclusive big band format, with (Call Me), a song written in 1965 by Tony Hatch for singer Petula Clark, and to which Guthorn adds some lustrous Latin colors backed by a collective aggregation of brass and rhythm featuring a solid Terry Haggerty guitar solo. Trusting her musical instincts, Guthorn sharply changes the mood and tempo and squeezes streams of emotion out of Ben Fold's poignant heart stopper (The Luckiest) while closely following Tim Haggerty's warm, consoling keyboard voicing over weaving strings.

Guthorn shows striking awareness in her assessment of the lasting beauty of William Kennedy Ellington's 1938 jazz standard (Prelude To A Kiss) with a lilting, curvaceous reading of the lyric contrasted against the band's tastefully catchy, funk/fusion arrangement. Whenever Ellington appears, Billy "Sweet Pea" Strayhorn must be close at hand, and Guthorn shows clearly that she has the talent and required interpretive ability to search out the innuendo and deep meaning in Strayhorn's lyric (Lush Life) that often presents a daunting vocal challenge for many a singer.

A song stylist with a demonstrable, deep-pocked repertoire and saleable performing equity to match, Guthorn struts through Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart's 1937 show tune (Where Or When) bathing it in contemporary effulgent colors, supplied in part through a wonderful tenor solo from Armen Boyd. But it is the simple, relaxed beauty of Guthorn's voice (Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans; Rainbow Connection; You Don't Know Me; I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)) that folds her in as an exceptional vocal book mark among a pantheon of top drawer singers that we can't seem to get enough of.

Guthorn and the band ought to be overjoyed with this CD, and they seem to express their satisfaction with uptempo vigor (Overjoyed), pushed along on Aaron Haggerty's dependable, consistently rhythmic drumming, then reprising that infectious smile inherent in the title track (Why Not Smile?); finally transitioning into Charlie Chaplin's classic invocation (Smile) with an affirmative acknowledgement of the abiding presence of the late Karen Carpenter

Track Listing: Call Me; The Luckiest; Prelude To A Kiss; Black Crow; Lush Life; Where Or When; Do You Know What It Means To Be In New Orleans; Rainbow Connection; You Don't Know Me; I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good); Overjoyed; Why Not Smile?/Smile.

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