February 7, 2013

Soul band heats up Winter Carnival

Former folk artist finds new voice in conversion to soul music

SARANAC LAKE — Kat Wright’s dad is one of her favorite people to see live music with.

In her native Rochester, her father steeped her in classic rock and soul — the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor and Marvin Gaye.

“I’m a huge fan of early Bonnie Raitt, lots of blues, Billy Preston, a little bit of everything,” said Wright, who fronts the Indomitable Soul Band, performing Friday night at the Waterhole in Saranac Lake as part of Winter Carnival 2013.

In middle and high school, she was able to school her father on Medeski, Martin & Wood, Jazz Mandolin Project and Susan Tedeschi.

“We had a lot of music in the house, and we would go to see live music, James Taylor and Lyle Lovett, from a really young age,” Wright said.

Recently, she saw Charles Bradley, known as “The Screaming Eagle of Soul,” in Burlington and was impressed with him. 

“He’s really cool. He really moved me. He’s got this incredible story. He was a James Brown impersonator (stage name Black Velvet) for a while. Then, he ended up doing his own music. It really spoke to me because my group started off covering music,” Wright said.

Bradley, a Daptones Records artist, is the antithesis of 15-minutes-of-famers, hot one minute and gone the next.

“He’s an old guy, and he has so much passion and personality,” Wright said. “It’s just awesome.”

Her elementary-school violin training didn’t take, but Wright has always sung.

“I performed my first talent show at the age of 11 and continued to do stuff like that in college,” she said.

At Alfred University, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts. While in college, she gigged at cafes, bars and private parties.

She and childhood friend Maggie Clifford formed the acoustic-folk duo Loveful Heights and toured through the state and Vermont. Radio Bean, located at 8 North Winooski Ave., was one of the duo’s regular Burlington venues.

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