There are a lot of captivating things about Kathryn Claire. She’s a classically trained violinist (picking it up at age 7), a self-taught guitarist, and she teaches songwriting to kids. But most captivating and surprising is when she opens her mouth to share her deep, emotive voice. A trained vocalist since age 14, Claire (pictured) is no stranger to the emotional range a female voice can hold — she lists Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls and Joni Mitchell as influences.
In the last five years, Claire has dived into the deep end of her vocals, a change she welcomes. “I think the female voice in that range is cool,” she tells EW. “It’s kind of bordering on a high male voice; it’s right in that place between the two.”
Claire sees songwriting as a universal tool, which she teaches to children Maria von Trapp-style, just her and her guitar. “It demystifies this idea that songwriting is this thing that only songwriters can do,” she says. “Whether or not the songs are great, everyone has to capacity to write about their life.”
Claire plays a River Road House Concert Dec. 19, where she’ll be joined by Moody Little Sister, made up of Naomi Hooley and Rob Stroup, the Portland duo who sing about starting over.
Four years ago, Hooley was 30 years old, “sitting in my truck scared as shit going from Alaska to Portland,” she told the Bend Source in September. Recently divorced and in pursuit of her musical dreams, Hooley drove to Portland to have Stroup (of Portland band Baseboard Heaters) produce her album. The two teamed up to create an Adele-meets-Stevie Nicks collection of songs fueled by life’s experiences, with Hooley on vocals and piano and Stroup on guitar.
’Tis the season, so perhaps they’ll play some festive ditties from the 2013 release Naomi Hooley and Rob Stroup’s Winter Wonderland, a holiday album mixing reimagined classics with originals.
Kathryn Claire and Moody Little Sister perform 8 pm Friday, Dec. 19, at a house concert (755 River Rd.); $10-12 sliding scale at door. RSVP to Mike Meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org).