"Devil's Rope," the second album from Portland artist Kate Mann, was recorded at 8-Ball Studio in Portland and coproduced by Kate and studio owner Rob Stroup. The album takes the songwriter into new territory. Whereas Mann's 2005 release "November Songs" was a sparse acoustic recording, "Devil's Rope" surrounds Mann's dusky voice and acoustic guitar with aggressive slide guitar and harmonica, rumbling drums, and accordion and classical guitar sounds that conjure images of gypsy caravans. Kate grew up at the foot of the Sandia mountains in New Mexico, and the texture of the desert subtly sculpts her music. A deeply resonant, unique vocal quality, atypical chord progressions, and compelling and intelligent lyrics combine to conjure comparisons as varied as PJ Harvey, Lucinda Williams, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave. Kate's unique brand of moody Americana has been cultivating a loyal local fan base, and she is continuing the trend regionally with performances throughout the Pacific Northwest. She has also been getting attention in Belgium and Holland, where her first album has gotten airplay and positive reviews.
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