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Artists on Trial: Kasey Rausch

Artists on Trial: Kasey Rausch

(Photo by Tammy Shell)

Kasey Rausch has been making music for over 20 years, mostly as a solo artist and in several local collaborations. Her folky, bluegrass musical approach hearkens the timeless voice of Emmylou Harris and the melancholy sound of Gillian Welch. We were able to talk to her more about her influences and current projects.

The Deli: Gun to your head, 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?

Kasey Rausch: Americana (not so creative, but hey! I have a gun to my head!).

The Deli: Tell us about your latest release or upcoming shows. What can we expect?

Kasey: I've been balancing solo gigs with a lot of different projects with a ton of people and it's been a blast. Currently working on a record with Buttermilk Boys (I play upright bass/fiddle/viola/harmonies) and the Rausch & Friends crew is starting to line up the beginnings of our next recording project—we have more than an album's worth of material ready. Other projects include Partners in Glory with Mikal Shapiro and a trio with my sister Kim Rausch and Sarah Carpenter. House concerts are where it's at!

The Deli: What does "supporting local music" mean to you?

Kasey: Supporting local music means supporting local business. It's supporting the health and mental well-being of the community.

The Deli: Who are your favorite "local" musicians right now?

Kasey: Some of my favorite local musicians are the people that I'm closest to and are blessed to make music with: my sister, Kim Rausch; my husband, Travis Huffhines; my uncles, Terry Rausch & Larry Ford; my cousins, Ethan Ridings, Collin Rausch, Kyle Rausch, Danny Johnson; my friends, Mikal Shapiro, Scott Stanton, Chris DeVictor, Sarah Carpenter, Jesse Carr, Molly Healey, Tony Ladesich, Brandon Moore, Fernando Achucarro, just to name a few...

The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?

Kasey: Folks I've been listening to a lot of lately are:
Anne & Pete Sibley: Bluegrass/folk/old-time sound.
Chauncy Crandall: bluesy folk from Manitou Springs, CO. He played a house concert with Mikal Shapiro and me in Colorado Springs a few weeks ago. Good stuff.
Merle Haggard: He's been a favorite of mine for a long time and I've been on a kick lately since I just saw him at Knuckleheads.

The Deli: What bands are you most excited to see at Crossroads Music Fest this year?

Kasey: I'd say Rural Grit All-Stars except that I'm playing at the same time as them. :~) Victor & Penny, Dead Voices and Starhaven Rounders is where I'll be!.

The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy bill to play on?

Kasey: Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris.

The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?

Kasey: I'd like to spend the rest of my life recording the magic that happens on stage. :~)

The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?

Kasey: Willie Nelson: for his environmental consciousness.
George Harrison: for his compassion and desire to unite.
Jerry Garcia: for his openness.
Johnny Mullins: for his giving and for raising one of my favorite people, Sweet Melindamoon. (Mr. Mullins is a man from the Ozarks who wrote tunes that Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, Porter Wagoner and Johnny Cash recorded).

And if I could add a fifth face in there, it would be Elizabeth Cotten for her originality.

The Deli: All right, give us the rundown. Where all on this big crazy web can you be found?

Kasey: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kasey-Rausch-Music-Other-Projects

The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for The Deli audience?

Kasey: You can have all the love in the world, but if ya ain't got gratitude (and a lil' music) it don't mean much...

You can see Kasey channel all of her compassionate, heartfelt influences while performing her signature brand of rustic Americana on Saturday at Czar at 8:00 pm.  

--Michelle Bacon

Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli - Kansas City. She also has a weekly column with The Kansas City Star and reviews music for Ink. She plays with Deco AutoDrew Black and Dirty Electric, and Dolls on Fire. She is looking for someone to kill spiders for her full-time.

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