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Artists on Trial: Katy Guillen & The Girls

Artists on Trial: Katy Guillen & The Girls

(Photo by Brandon Forrest)
They’ve only been around for about a year, and already Katy Guillen & The Girls (formerly The Katy Guillen Trio) have taken Kansas City by storm with their compelling, proficient brand of blues and rock. Guillen, along with “The Girls”—bassist Claire Adams and drummer Stephanie Williams—have big plans for the rest of 2013. They’ve released a series of singles, and they’re finalists for the 2013 KCBS Kansas City Blues Competition this Saturday at Knuckleheads. We’ll find out more about them here.
The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?
KG & The Girls: Rock and roll, heavy blues, lots of guitar, big drums, soulful harmonies, and songs about working to survive, dreams, and people.
The Deli: Tell us about …and then there were three, the EP you're releasing. What should we expect?
KG&G: It’s more of a release of three singles and/or a taste of the band, than an official EP. Our goal is to release an album soon with these songs and more on it. They’re the first three originals of mine that we ever jammed on and made into band songs.
The Deli: Katy, you play solo and also played with Go-Go Ray in the past. How/why did you start this project with Claire and Stephanie?
KG&G: Katy: Last September, I got asked to open for the Royal Southern Brotherhood at Knuckleheads with 2 weeks’ notice, and said of course, not knowing who I would play with. I asked Stephanie and Claire if they would want to play this show, and maybe just be a band. They were stoked and we’ve been playing music together ever since. We were already good friends, and playing in Claire & The Crowded Stage together too, so the chemistry and comfort was there from the beginning.
The Deli: All three of you are members of several other bands around town. What is it about this specific project that's most rewarding to each of you?
KG&G: Stephanie: It’s the coolest!
Claire: It’s nice because it’s a small group and we communicate very well together, musically and organizationally.
Katy: I second what Claire said. It’s easy and fun.
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
KG&G: Playing shows, seeing shows, and volunteering your time and music for community events and causes. It’s staying active with others, and when we support each other, we support the music.
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?
KG&G: Everyone in The Grisly Hand, and Julia Haile.
The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?
KG&G: Those Darlins, Lily Hyatt, Delta Spirit, Heartless Bastards.
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
KG&G: Heartless Bastards, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Carrie Brownstein.
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why? 
KG&G: Carrie Brownstein because she rules at life, John Bonam because he rules at drums, Janis Joplin because she rules at the stage, Jimi Hendrix because he rules at the guitar. Or, Steph’s 3 dogs and Claire’s dog, because they’re loyal.
The Deli: Where can we find you on the web?
The Deli: What other goals do KG & The Girls have for 2013?
KG&G: Play shows, travel more, and record!
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
KG&G: Have fun, love it, and don’t turn your back on a good thing!
You can catch KG & The Girls anytime in the next few days! Tonight they’ll be at BB’s Lawnside BBQ (Facebook event page), tomorrow they’re playing a benefit for the Sherwood Foundation, and they round it out Saturday at Knuckleheads for the KCBS Blues Competition from 2-6 p.m. The winner of this round goes to Memphis in January to represent Kansas City at the International Blues Challenge. Good luck, girls!
Also, for today only, you can download the band’s three-song release on Bandcamp at this link for free, or pay what you want.

--Michelle Bacon

Michelle is editor of The Deli Magazine - Kansas City, and also plays drums Drew Black & Dirty Electric and bass in Dolls on Fire and The Philistines. She likes to visit potentially dangerous or blighted areas because sometimes you find castles. 

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