Kat McLevey Rocket Room, St. John's NL, April 19

Kat McLevey Rocket Room, St. John's NL, April 19
Photo: Vish Khanna
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"I don't normally do this," 16 year-old Kat McLevey said, switching from one acoustic guitar to another. "But I play in different tunings so thanks to sister Mary for this guitar." As a mild chuckle escaped the crowded Rocket Room, McLevey caught herself. "No, no, my sister Mary!" she exclaimed to gales of laughter about her inadvertent words of praise. "But you never know," she added. McLevey is a talented multi-instrumentalist who plays bass in a local band called City on the Coast and has also worked with the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has a wholesome presence and was giggly but less than your average nervous teenager might be, playing their heartfelt folk songs before an audience of family, friends, and strangers. She accompanied herself with advanced campfire guitar chords and sang seriously about heartbeats and sea salt in the breeze with the power and tenor of Hannah Georgas and the raw feeling of Neil Young playing Massey Hall in 1971. Like uncle Neil, McLevey could use a producer to refine some ideas and trim some songs down in length but she's a kid. An impressive kid with a lot of promise whose songs about life aren't trifles. McLevey is a thoughtful young writer with poise and self-awareness beyond her years.

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