Call it fate, destiny, kismet or just good ol' karma…whatever, there was something in the air when the paths of singer Kathleen Kraft and guitarist Doug Hedstrom collided on a late dark night outside a crossroads country store in the piedmonts of Virginia. As they chatted next to Doug's vintage Willys pickup, new musings on the evolution of Kathleen's music group, "kat & the travelers", began to stir. Turned out along with his vintage truck, his collection of vintage amps, big body guitars and telecasters, the self proclaimed "just a country guitar player" also had a stash of jazz-blues chords in his back pocket~ a perfect compliment to Kathleen's vocal styles. With Doug's longtime music collaborator, bassist Kelley Chapman onboard, their fresh musical journey took off and they've been enjoying the ride ever since.
With diverse musical backgrounds of R&B, soul, country, big band, jazz, swing, blues and hillbilly boogie stowed in their packs, kat & the travelers fuel their own "backroads take" on the timeless compositions of America's Roots Music... jazzblues, hot swing, vintage country, folk, rock...with contagious energy and affection... and fill you up in between with their steel toe originals.
Now backed by the solid bass of Michael Haag and jazz chops of drummer Quintas Mills, guitarist Doug Hedstrom's high gear, free wheeling playing style continues to win praise... and provides a noted compliment to the band's front seat singer, Kathleen Kraft, whose vocals whisper and shine on ephemeral ballads, ring out sweet and clear on jazz notes, and still get gritty with those old school blues.
The band has been featured live on 90.7FM WMRA's Blues Valley Radio Show, 88.7FM WXJM's Radio Show, STAR94.3FM Shenandoah Valley Local Music Hour and has made repeat appearances at Virginia's cafes, wineries, breweries, clubs, listening rooms, galleries, theaters, house concerts, festivals, and private and community events.
Area listeners may also have caught the band's inclusion in the CVBS IBC Blues Challenge Showcase, benefit CD Charlottesville's Christmas Songbook featured on WNRN, benefit CD OCP's Our Christmas Present, as well as a finalist in Rapunzel's Annual Songwriters Showcase.
Past performances include:
Live on 90.7FM WMRA's Blues Valley Radio Show, Live on 88.7FM WXJM's Radio Show, STAR94.3FM Shenandoah Valley Local Music Hour, Clementine Cafe, Fridays on the Square Summer Music Festival, Annual Summer Blues & Brews Festival, Cork & Blues Festival, The Judy Chops Cabaret, 2 Pond Farm Music Festival, First Night Harrisonburg, Ashland Coffee & Tea, Pale Fire Brewing Company, Summer Concert Series at Stonefield, Albemarle CiderWorks, DuCard Vineyards, Blenheim Vineyards, Castle Hill Cider, Knight's Gambit Winery, Cunningham Creek Winery, Third Hill Winery at DeMello Vineyards, OCP's Summer Lawn Jam, Jazz Night at The Mockingbird, Staunton Public Library, Bricks Lounge, The Patio House Concerts, Grace Estate Winery, Yelping Dog Wine Bar, Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company, Shenandoah Hops, OCP's Annual Christmas Concert, The Hot Spot, Glass House Winery, Colonnades, Lodge at Old Trail, Beyond Restaurant & Lounge, Concerts With A View House Concerts, Victory Hall Theater, Bon Cafe, Dr. Ho's, Three Penny Cafe, James River Brewing Company, Mountfair Vineyards, Blue Moon Diner, Wild Wolf Brewing Company, Fairfield Center's Harvest Gala, Valley Aids Network Benefit, Wine On Water Wine Bar, Cave Ridge Vineyard & Winery, Rock N' Ridgeview Summer Concert Series, Jimmy Anderson's, Martha Jefferson House, Bluestone Vineyards, Burton Galleries House Concerts, Valley 4th Independence Day Celebration, Rapunzel's Jazz Society, Central Virginia Blues Society, The Hamner Theater, Rapunzel's, Darjeeling Cafe, Plank Road Exchange, George Bowers Grocery, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, Little Grill Collective, The Gateway Theatre, The Clocktower's Downtown 27 Stage, Batesville Store, Shenandoah Pizza & Tap House, Harrisonburg's First Fridays, OCP's Second Saturday Nights Out, Pennybackers, CrossKeys Vineyards, Schultz Theatre, Downtown Music 34, Turner Pavilion's Music at the Market, Oasis Gallery, Earth & Tea Cafe, The Local Bar at the Local Chop & Grill House, Francesco's, L'italia Lounge, Little Gems Music Festival, North River Grill, Private Events and others.