Premiere: Kate Taylor, “He Caught the Katy”

She’s  most famous as the little sister of James Taylor and Livingston Taylor. Like them, she is a gifted songwriter-singer. Back in 1971, when James’ career was just starting to soar, she made her first album, Sister Kate, at the same studio where James made Sweet Baby James  (Sunset Sound in Hollywood), with the same producer (Peter Asher) and with many of the same musicians, who happened to be among the world’s greatest. These included Carole King on piano, Danny Kortchmar, Russ Kunkel and Charles Larkey. Linda Ronstadt and JD Souther sang harmonies as well as her brother James.

But Kate didn’t adjust to the rollercoaster life, and felt she needed to retreat. She moved to Martha’s Vineyard where, during summer months, she would sleep in a teepee.

Now some 50 years later, her teepee years are over, and she has returned to music. Her old friend Peter Asher agreed to take on the producer’s role again. The result is her new album Why Wait!, which features many of the same players, including Kunkel and Kortchmar. Leland Sklar is on bass.

We are proud to share today this premiere of “He Caught The Katy,” a blues standard written by Taj Mahal and James Rachell. 

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“I was thrilled,” said Kate, “when Peter [Asher] suggested `He Caught the Katy,’as we were discussing tunes for the new record. I have loved this song since I first heard Taj Mahal sing it years ago.  Taj was always in heavy rotation on my turntable. He bridges the gaps between Country, Blues, Folk, Gospel and R&B.  He has it all.  He is about as real as it gets, a true American jewel.”  

“Peter [Asher] had a vision for the sound,” she said, “and the players to create it and they all nailed it as of course these players would. Peter has this brilliance of knowing what a singer can do with a song. Its inclusion in this set of tunes is evocative to me of songs we chose for our first collaboration, Sister Kate and,  dang, `Katy’ is a fun song to sing! Thank you to Peter Asher for thinking of it for me.”

Kate Taylor

Asked about this song choice, Peter Asher said “Katy” was on his first list of songs he was suggesting for this album. 

“Over fifty years ago, ” he said, “I first fell in love with Kate’s singing; it was her understated, seemingly effortless yet profoundly soulful tone and phrasing that so captured my imagination – energetic and yet light-hearted all at the same time. And `Katy’ the song has all of these same attributes along with a bluesy simplicity and precision. One of the great pleasures and privileges of my job is being able to cast a track with some of the finest musicians in the world in order to properly engender, support and frame a brilliant vocal. On this particular track the solidity of Russ Kunkel and Leland Sklar (on drums and bass) is earthy and deeply satisfying, the Wurlitzer playing of Jeff Alan Ross is unobtrusively soulful and Albert Lee is as miraculously fluid and as impeccably coherent and melodic as only he can be.”

“And Kate’s vocal just makes me want to play the track again each time I hear it. I am proud to have helped and I thank Taj Mahal (and James Rachell) for such a brilliant song which has always been a favorite of mine.”

The album, Why Wait, will be released on Red House Records on August 6.

Pre-order WHY WAIT! here.

Kate Taylor To Release "Why Wait!"

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