"Country" music means different things to different people. To Rowdy Kate lead singer Keri Carr, it means feeling at home.
She recalled that during her childhood, her father was a cowboy who rode horses and bulls and listened to country music. After her parents divorced, Carr and her mother moved away, distancing her from her father.
"I missed him a lot when I was growing up," she explained. "It feels like home to me when I sing country music."
Friday night, Rowdy Kate will bring the "back home" country spirit to Concerts in the Park. The band will headline a show that also includes Hellbound Glory and Flounder (click links for MySpace). Hellbound Glory members describe themselves as, a "scumbag country" band that "builds on the roots of honky tonk, bluegrass, rockabilly, and outlaw country." Flounder plays a diverse style of indie rock.
Keri Carr spent her youth moving around with her mother from San Francisco to Ohio, Virginia and Spain before settling in Sacramento in 1990. Her mother taught her how to sing, and was the biggest influence on her singing, Carr said.
"With my mom, I sing rancheras and boleros, and those are representative of my mom’s side of the family, which I was distanced from in my upbringing as well," she explained.
Ever since her childhood days, Carr’s second creative passion was always hair. She remembers as a young girl always wanting to "fix" people’s hair. In 2006 she opened Honey Salon, 818 19th St., where she and her mother have been styling hair ever since. She even styles hair for local music celebrities like Jerry Perry and Kate Gaffney.
"Nick Swimly, the guitarist for the Golden Cadillacs and Hellbound Glory, has got really fun hair," she noted.
Also in 2006, she started Rowdy Kate with her husband Larry Carr, who originally played bass, but now plays drums. The two set out to play rockabilly, but the band naturally moved in a more country direction.
Lead guitarist Geoff Miller, rhythm guitarist Robert Sidwell and bassist Dave Garrity round out the band. Aside from originals that Carr and Miller write, the band covers "old school" country tunes from artists like Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Graham Parsons and Buck Owens, Carr said.
So far, the band has recorded an EP and plans to record a full-length album. The members will schedule their second tour of Europe for sometime in the next year.
A highlight of Rowdy Kate’s career so far has been playing Concerts in the Park, Carr explained. "If Jerry Perry likes us, it feels like validation," she added.
The band members said they look forward to Concerts in the Park every year. This will be their third year playing the show.
"It’s really different playing in a club where there’s two people not even paying attention to you, as opposed to a park where there’s hundreds of people all cheering for you," Carr added. "Sacramento should really support Jerry Perry extending Concerts in the Park because he’s done so much for the music scene in the town."
Friday Night Concerts in the Park take place at Cesar Chavez Plaza on 10th and J streets from 5 to 9 p.m. every Friday until Aug. 14.
Don’t forget that your Friday night festivities continue if you show your wristband to one of the following businesses:
Brew it Up!: $4 drafts, Bacardi, Jack Daniels and 3 Olives cocktails, plus half-price appetizers
Fuzio Universal Bistro: $3 drafts, $5 martinis, plus a selection of $3 appetizers
Marilyn’s on K: $1 off well drinks, $3 draft Bud Light
Parlare Euro Lounge: $3 domestic beers, $5 wine, $4 assorted appetizers
Pyramid Alehouse: $2 pints of Curveball
Sofia on 11th: $3 drafts, $4 wines, $4 wells and and half-price appetizers
Table 260: Half off appetizer menu, 10 percent off dinner, $5 drink special on Sac Soul
Toppingz Pizza inside Image Lounge: $2.50 Bud and Bud Light, $4 Jack Daniels, appetizers starting at $1
Sheraton Grand Hotel’s PMB Bar: $3.50 Bud and Bud Light (bottle or draft), $5 nachos or artichoke dip
Amourath Lounge at Hyatt: $1 off Bud, Bud Light and all appetizers
Citizen Hotel: $99/night weekend rate for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in a deluxe king, queen or dual-double-bedroom. This deal is exclusively for the Concerts in the Park, and for information on how to book the room, call (916) 447-2700.
Photo credit Mathew Walker
Concerts in the Park continues as “The End of Summer Fest” at Cesar Chavez Plaza every Friday night from August 21 through September 18.